GCAA installs new air navigation equipment

BY: Maclean Kwofi
Minister of Aviation, Mrs Cecilia Abena Dapaah
Minister of Aviation, Mrs Cecilia Abena Dapaah

The Minister of Aviation, Mrs Cecilia Abena Dapaah, has inaugurated three air navigation equipment of the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) at a ceremony in Accra.

The equipment; High Frequency (HF) radios, Air Traffic Management (ATM) system and Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT), are to help enhance communications, navigation, surveillance and air traffic management within the Accra Flight Information Region (FIR).

She explained that the equipment would help to make the country’s airspace efficient, safe and secure, and commended the GCAA for the transformational initiative.

“The installation of these navigation equipment will greatly enhance flight operations and I must commend the air traffic safety engineers and air traffic controllers for their hard work in keeping the ageing air navigation system running without any disruption in flight operations,” she said.

Internally generated funds

She observed that the GCAA invested more than US$7million from its internally generated funds to procure and install the equipment to respond to air traffic management challenges associated with the tremendous increase in aircraft movements in the Accra FIR.

The newly installed equipment includes High Frequency (HF) radios which provide controller-pilot communications in the remote oceanic portions of its FIR.

It also consists ATM system which provides situational awareness of air traffic controllers, as well as tools and alerts which assist them in separating aircraft to ensure safety of flight operations.

Given the vast expanse of its FIR, the modern VSAT system would enable Ghana to extend the range of its voice communications between air traffic controllers and pilots. It also integrates remote radar data to ensure effective aircraft surveillance over the country’s airspace.

GCAA’s policy objective

The Director General of the GCAA, Mr Simon Allotey, observed that the installation of the air navigation equipment fitted into the authority’s objective.

He explained that one of the main policy objectives of the GCAA was to develop opportunities for domestic and international travel, as well as trade.

“Our objective is also to ensure the facilitation of efficient aviation operations and services to ensure a sustainable growth in the aviation industry.

“Again, it seeks to maintain the high standards of safety and security in the provision of air transport,” Mr Allotey observed.

To achieve its policy objectives, he said the GCAA actively collaborated with its supervising ministry, the Ministry of Aviation, and other key stakeholders in the development and implementation of global and regional initiatives to enhance aviation safety, security and efficiency.

“The authority as its core mission provides air traffic or navigations services and approves, licenses and certifies all aviation service providers and operators in Ghana.

“We wish to assure that the engineering team will maintain the system, and the air traffic controllers who are the end users of the system have been adequately trained by the equipment manufacturers to ensure a high system availability and operational efficiency,” he added.