Minister of Aviation, Joseph Kofi Adda, has said the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has applauded Ghana’s aviation sector for its effective protocols in ensuring safety of domestic flight operations.
This follows the disinfection of all four major airports amid the resumption of on-board domestic flight operations subsequent to the 3-week partial lockdown due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking at a press briefing on Thursday, May 21, 2020, Mr. Adda noted the IATA has since adopted and recommended Ghana’s standards for use in other African countries.
“Of the African countries which closed down domestic flights due to the COVID-19, Ghana is the first to restart operations. This again attests to Ghana’s leadership and successes in the aviation sector within the African continent,” he disclosed.
He added that of all African countries that operated domestic flights due to the lockdowns and closure of borders, only six continued to fly with Ghana being the only nation currently operating domestic flights.
“We’ve been able to do this successfully to the admiration of IATA because we went through the protocols handed down by the Presidential Taskforce and made sure that all that had been done measured up to the World Health Organisation (WHO) standards which we applied to all our major airports in Ghana,” he stated.
Disinfection exercise ‘contract diversion’ saga
The Minister of Aviation at the press briefing reiterated his outfit’s earlier stance on accusations that it had ‘diverted a contract’ for LCB Worldwide (LCB) to Zoomlion Ghana Limited, a waste management company, to undertake the disinfection exercise of airports as false and misleading.
According to him, there was no such contract within the aviation sector as alleged adding due process was followed in engaging Zoomlion Ghana Limited to disinfect airports in the country.
“The Governing Board of the Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL) had turned down an offer to disinfect the airport at a cost of unacceptable to the GACL. Under this proposal, the cost of the disinfection was to be recovered through a levy on domestic and international air passengers,” he further explained.
“I must place on record that such a levy violates the guidance and recommended practices on airport related charges set by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO),” Kofi Adda stressed.
Meanwhile, the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) had recently accused the Aviation Minister Joseph Kofi Adda of usurping the power and authority of the Minister for Health.
The Association said it was agitated at what it believes is the laxity on the part of the Aviation Minister in ensuring proper disinfection of the country’s airports.