Ghana race to certify airports by 2017

Aviation regulators are fervently working to certify all aerodromes in the country by 2017 in conformity with the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) requirements.

The ICAO requires that in-country Civil Aviation Authorities (CAA) certify aerodromes in all countries which are signatories to the Chicago Convention.

The Convention, among others, seek to ensure the safety of passengers and prevent accidents at airports by subjecting each aerodrome used for civil aviation to stringent structural and safety scrutiny before certifying them.

Kotoka International Airport, Kumasi Airport, Sunyani Airport, and Tamale Airports are the main airports which the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), the industry regulator, has oversight; while the Takoradi airport is under Military control.

Simon Allotey, the Director-General of the GCAA said: “Ghana is a signatory to the Chicago Convention and under the convention, all states are required to certified their aerodromes.

It is also in our GCAA regulations that all aerodromes should be certified. So all we are doing is to comply with our own requirement and ICAO’s requirements. Once certified, it will confirm that the airport meets the strict ICAO requirements.”

The Kotoka International Airport was certified by the GCAA last month; leaving the Authority with the enormous task of working to certify the Kumasi, Sunyani, and Tamale airports by 2017.

“The other airports will also be certified in conformity with GCAA regulations. We will commence with Kumasi early this year and it will be followed by Tamale and Sunyani. By the end of 2017 all airports would have been certified. The certification process is not a one-week affair; it takes a very long time to go through certification,” the GCAA boss said.

The GCAA presented an aerodrome certification for the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) to the airports operator–the Ghana Airports Company Limited.

The certificate confirms that the KIA has met the stringent requirements on Aerodrome Certification based on Ghana Civil Aviation Regulations and the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) requirements.

Mr. Allotey said: “The national aerodrome certification programme seeks to achieve and maintain a higher level of safety in aerodrome operations; promote standardization and consistency of procedures and operations; and facilitates standardization within a state and from one country to another.”

He said an in-depth assessment of the facility was done before the issuance of the certificate.

“The grant of an Aerodrome Certificate by the GCAA hinges on aerodrome infrastructure, physical characteristics, facilities and equipment; good aerodrome manual; effective operational procedures and management; safety management systems; and personnel competency,” he said.

The Managing Director of Ghana Airports Company, Charles Asare, said it certifies that: “The Kotoka International Airport has been audited and found to be compliant with the GCAA and ICAO requirements. Accordingly, GACL has fulfilled the Abuja Declaration that all African International Airports be certified before the end of year 2015.”