Ghana obtained a provisional Effective Implementation (EI) rate of 89.89 percent, the highest by an African country, after the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) concluded its Coordinated Validation Mission (ICVM) in line with the United Nations aviation agency’s Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP).
The rating comes after a nine-day follow-up onsite activity by a four-member team of experts from ICAO to validate corrective measures undertaken by Ghana following a USOAP audit in November 2006.
The final rating will be communicated to Ghana within six-weeks after validation of the provisional score by ICAO.
Recognizing this landmark achievement by Ghana, Minister for Aviation, Joseph Kofi Adda, stressed the need for the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) to immediately develop an action plan towards the implementation of corrective measures that have been recommended by the ICAO team.
“Ghana’s air transport industry enjoys strong government support, which is a crucial determinant for the aviation sector’s ability to maintain an ICAO compliant regulatory framework and to achieve accelerated sustainable growth of the sector in the years ahead,” declared Adda.
The Minister further underscored that in line with President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s vision of re-positioning Ghana as the sub-region’s Aviation hub, Parliament recently passed the Ghana Civil Aviation (Amendment) Act, 2019 (Act 985) together with the Legislative Instrument on Aircraft Accident and Serious Incident Regulations,2019 (LI 2375) to ensure enhanced compliance with ICAO’s Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPS).
Speaking at a debriefing session on the ICVM, the Director-General of GCAA, Ing. Simon Allotey, reaffirmed the Minister’s remarks, noting that “this enviable milestone is a reflection of the robustness of our safety oversight system which ultimately translates into improved safety of airline operations.”
“By adhering to ICAO’s SARPS related to safety oversight, GCAA effectively ensures that aviation service providers and airline operators maintain an acceptable level of operational safety.”
The ICVM assessed Ghana’s safety oversight system on all eight ICAO Critical Elements (CEs), namely: Primary Aviation Legislation; State Operating Regulations; State Civil Aviation System and Safety Oversight Functions; and Technical Personnel Qualification and Training. The other CEs that were validated included Technical Guidance, Tools and the Provision of Safety-Critical Information; Licensing, Certification, Authorization and Approval Obligations; Surveillance Obligations; and Resolution of Safety Concerns.
Ghana recorded a substantial improvement across all eight CEs, and the team from the UN specialised aviation agency identified no significant safety concerns (SSCs).
“Our performance of 89.89% is world-class and places Ghana at the top spot in Africa in terms of safety oversight, considering that the average EI rate on the continent stands at 52 percent, which is lower than the global average of 66.5 percent and below ICAO’s current minimum target of 60 percent,” Ing. Allotey continued.
The Director-General expressed gratitude to the Ministry of Aviation, Board of Directors, Management and staff of GCAA for the successful outcome of the ICVM, and to the members of the ICAO team for the professionalism, objectivity and cooperation exhibited throughout the process.