Accra, April 26, GNA -The Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) is hosting a three-day forum for more than six African states and international organizations on the theme: “Working together for progress,” at the M-Plaza hotel in Accra.
The forum, which started yesterday, is being attended by representatives from the Agency for Aerial Navigation Safety in Africa and Madagascar (ASECNA) and International Air Transport Association (IATA).
The participating countries include Togo, Benin, Niger, Cote d'Ivoire, Sao Tome, Nigeria and Congo.
The ASECNA is represented by Mr. Massalatchi Mahamadou, while IATA is represented by Mr. Seda Protus Otieno, Manager, Africa, Safety, Operations and Infrastructure.
The meeting is expected to deliberate on critical issues and developments within the aviation industry as well as harmonize aviation safety and security.
The forum will also address efforts by the various states regarding meeting deadlines set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), for the implementation of the 2012 ICAO Flight Plan on 15th November, 2012.
Air Commodore (rtd) Kwame Mamphey, Director General of the GCAA, called for cooperation, tolerance and the desire to develop each, among stakeholders.
He said such collaboration in the African Indian Ocean (AFI) region had led to the development and implementation of 65 new user-preferred routes in less than two years, in pursuance of ICAO strategic objective of dynamic and flexible Air Traffic Management (ATM).
“This key achievement was applauded by ICAO at the eighteenth AFI Planning and Implementation Regional Group (APIRG) meeting in Kampala in March, 2012” he said.
The Inter FIR coordination meeting is a forum which seeks to ensure harmonization within the aviation industry, especially within the West African Air Space.
This meeting was also necessary because West Africa is made up of Anglophone and Francophone States thus it was critical to ensure standardization of protocols relating to air space management to ensure flight safety and security.
“Cooperation is the on-going joint management initiatives between ASECNA and GCAA and thus, I welcome the various delegates from ASECNA while looking forward to a future when the Single Sky for Africa initiative would become a reality” Air Commodore Mamphey said.
He also called participants and his counterparts in Africa to learn from the current heat which the Emission Trading Scheme tax, unilaterally implemented by the European Union, has generated and its consequence for the African aviation industry.
“We therefore, need to increase the level of regional African cooperation in order to develop African solutions for such challenges, which no single African institution or State acting individually can surmount, but together, we can have a say and influence the direction of global policy initiatives,” Air Commodore Mamphey said.
The GCAA has been supporting other West African ANS providers in capacity building of their CNS infrastructure in order to deepen its African cooperation.
The Authority in particular is currently providing on-the-job Area Radar Training to Air Traffic Controllers from Nigeria.
Ghana Civil Aviation Authority is also in the process of installing Aeronautical Message Handling System, which is one of the key activities lined up towards the implementation of the new ICAO FLIGHT PLAN by the ICAO deadline of November 15, 2012.
This will ensure that all flight plans are standard for easy understanding and effective air navigation management.