Ghana’s aviation sector is set to commence domestic flights operations after three weeks of lockdown for passenger flights in the government bid to contain community spread of coronavirus,
In this regard, protocols have been developed to guide the operators of domestic flights to contain the corona virus spread and prevent infection.
A press release issued by the Ministry of Aviation on April 23 quoted the Sector Minister, Mr Joseph Kofi Adda, saying that measures were being introduced to ensure the safety of both passengers and operators when the industry moves back into operation.
“Passenger distancing is being introduced in the sector, where passengers would be made to sit at a safe distance apart and also ensure that all the necessary protocols are observed on board flight."
He said this during a Virtual Summit that was organised by International Air Transportation Association( IATA) which is a global trade association of air transport operators.
Other measures being introduced include the testing of flight crew members before they start operation, as well as fumigation, regular passenger and handling crew sanitisation as well as the acquisition of more PPEs for the Port Health officials and ground handling personnel.
The Minister disclosed that Port Health Service Officers would be stationed in all domestic airports, which formerly didn’t have any .
He stressed that the success of the airline transport commencement is based fundamentally on passenger confidence.
“Passengers have to be confident that indeed when they fly, they are safe. So, I think this concern is one that needs to be dealt with quickly,” he said.
The Summit which was aimed at gathering inputs from States Agencies ,participating industry stakeholders on the need to ensure a smooth restart as well as recovery of the aviation industry and to also ensure job security for airline staff had 97 participants from 13 States.
He concluded by asking for a Marshal Plan of some sort for the aviation industry to continue to support the development efforts of nation states, particularly Africa.
The whole range of industry players ranging from governmental agencies such as Civil Aviation Authorities, Airport Managing Companies as well as auxiliary service providers like freight forwarders and indeed even financing agencies and infrastructural development or construction companies need to be supported.
The Minister said such a comprehensive scheme would help to re-energize the sector to bring the business community, Tourism and even households into mainstream economic development again.