Workers of the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) will from Friday, July 8, 2016 withdraw partial services provided at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA).

This means the withdrawal of air traffic services at the nation’s biggest airport will affect domestic operators.

According to a statement signed by the various workers unions of the GCAA, their action had been necessitated by management’s inability to install high frequency (HF) equipment on the aviation land located at La Nkwantanang, between Madina and Adentan, to enhance safety.

The workers claim that high frequency (HF) equipment, valued at more than 600,000 euros, acquired by the GCAA to enhance communication, had been lying idle in the stores of the authority for months.

The statement is a follow up to a similar one issued on June 20, 2016 concerning the same issue.

“It is unfortunate it has come to this, but as you are aware, communication is very vital in our industry and we need to install this HF and other equipment to enhance air safety”, it said.

The statement also cautioned management not to stop or victimise any staff member for embarking on the strike since their concerns were legitimate.

Last month, some workers groups in the aviation industry warned that the country risked aviation safety if the government failed to protect some parcels of land acquired to install aviation safety equipment from encroachers and private developers.

A statement containing the warning was jointly issued by six staff associations within the aviation industry.

It also drew attention to the likelihood of the industry’s inability to provide air traffic services in the Accra Flight Information Region (FIR - Accra Airspace) as a result of the unavailability of land for the installation of vital safety equipment for communications, surveillance and other navigational aid.

Responding to the concerns of the workers in an interview, the Director-General of the GCAA, Mr Simon Allotey, acknowledged that their concerns were legitimate.

He assured that management was engaging the stakeholders and all other relevant bodies to quickly resolve the issue, particularly the land encroachment.

Notwithstanding, Mr Allotey explained that the withdrawal of partial services by the workers would not affect international flight operators.

“The withdrawal of partial services, though unfortunate, will only affect local flight operators, but management will quickly resolve the issue,” he said.

Source: Graphic

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