The staff of the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) have warned of possible plane crashes if lands were forcefully taken from them are not released for the installation of essential communication equipment.
A statement issued on Monday, June 20, stated that equipment for Communication, Surveillance, and other Navigational Aids have been locked up because lands for the installation have been taken over by government officials.
The statement revealed two parcels of land at the Adenta (La Nkwantanan) and Labadi (La Wireless) for aviation development and expansion, was taken over by the erstwhile Kufuor administration in 2007 for residential purposes.
According to the statement other lands at La Nkwantanan land, between Madina and Adanta has been taken over by the governing NDC administration.
“We want to reiterate that if the said land is not released for the installation of this vital equipment, the system can shut down and we may not be able to provide Air Traffic Services over the ocean and other portions of the airspace.
“This will have safety and security implications for the country and the industry in general,” the statement added.
Below is the full statement by GCAA
AIRCRAFT SAFETY UNDER THREAT
The staff of Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) wishes to bring to the notice of the general public the likelihood of our inability to provide Air Traffic Services in the Accra Flight Information Region (FIR – Accra Airspace) due to unavailability of land for the installation of vital safety equipment for Communication, Surveillance, and other Navigational Aids.
Two parcels of land were acquired for Aviation development and expansion at Adenta (La Nkwantanan) and Labadi (La Wireless) for use as receiving and transmitting stations respectively, and for future aviation development and expansion.
In 2007, the government at the time forcefully took over part of the Wireless lands for residential purposes leaving only a fraction for aviation development. Today the AU village is now a private gated housing community.
Under the current government, almost the whole of the La Nkwantanan land, between Madina and Adanta, has been taken over by “the powers that be” for non-Aviation developments. These lands are currently under the control of private developers and investors, putting commercial interest over Aviation safety and development.
These actions of politicians in the last 10 years have been detrimental to the Aviation industry and have the tendency to erode all the gains achieved by the country in Aviation.
For months, HF equipment purchased by GCAA worth over 600,000 Euros for installation at La Nkwantanan to enhance communication are still in GCAA’s stores. Our engineers have been denied access to the site to make a preliminary preparation ahead of the arrival of their foreign counterparts due in the country on the 1st July 2016.
Our inability to install the HF equipment, as well as other navigational equipment at the site will have a dire consequence on aviation safety in Accra airspace. The control of aircraft over the oceanic is seriously being hampered by this unfortunate situation.
We are aware that, the management of GCAA, as well as the ministry of Transport, has made several appeals, and has justified the need to; at least, give about 250 acres of the land back to GCAA, but all to no avail.
We want to reiterate that if the said land is not released for the installation of this vital equipment, the system can shut down and we may not be able to provide Air Traffic Services over the ocean and other portions of the airspace. This will have safety and security implications for the country and the industry in general.
It is against the backdrop of such improper encroachment and/or virtual annexing and grabbing of government acquired lands intended for aviation use that the Ghana Air Traffic Controllers Association (GHATCA), Ghana Air Traffic Safety Electronics Association (GhATSEA), the Ghana Aeronautical Information Services Association (GHAISA), Aviation Safety Inspectors Association of stakeholders of Ghana Civil Aviation Authority, express our displeasure and indignation with the current development on the La-Nkwantang land.
In the light of the above, we are appealing to the government and all other parties to get the La Nkwantanan land back to GCAA as a matter of urgency.