PRESIDENT Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo–Addo has assented to the Ghana Civil Aviation (Amendment) Bill to become Act 985 (2019).
The amendment of the Ghana Civil Aviation Act 906 (2016) is to address the various deficiencies raised by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) with respect to the aviation sector.
The new Act thus empowers GCAA to continue with the provision of Air Navigation Services till a new entity is formed.
It also enhances the role of the Minister of Aviation in the areas of accidents and serious incident investigations. Parliament on March 8, this year, passed the bill to improve safety and strengthen security in the aviation industry.
A release issued by the Ministry of Aviation on March 9 said the sector Minister, Mr Kofi Adda, who moved for the bill to be passed, explained that the amendment was also to ensure that Ghana became compliant with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
He explained that though the sector was already doing well by global standards and was ranking very high, the amendment would help to address the deficiencies identified in numerous assessments of the structures and operational systems of air navigational services, as well as ensure the effective implementation of the state safety programmes and accident investigations.
This will be done by setting up an independent outfit under the minister for accidents and serious incidents investigations in the sector.
It will also enhance the powers of the director general of the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) to enable it to carry on investigations and access vital information.
It also makes provision for the funding of the independent outfit to ensure that its personnel work effectively, while it helps to prevent the operation of flights by unqualified personnel.
“The same amendment would also see the decoupling of the GCAA, segregating the regulatory function and navigation services provision,” it explained.
“Here too, a new outfit for the Air Navigation Services will be established under the amendment if assented into law by the President,” it said.
Following this, it said, the Aviation Ministry would move to get additional regulations passed through by the Subsidiary Legislation Committee of Parliament in time for an audit by the ICAO, later this month.