Air transport is the safest-Attivor
 
Posted on: 2009-Dec-09        GNA
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Aviation experts say one needs to take an aeroplane trip everyday for 40 years, to have a 50-50 chance of dying in a plane crash.

"In terms of safety, air transportation ranks first among all the other modes of transportation." Mrs. Dzifa Aku Attivor, Deputy Minister of Transport, has said.

The Deputy Minister who was addressing the 65th International Civil Aviation Organization(ICAO) Day in Accra said the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority had contributed immensely towards the objective of ICAO to empower the global community through aviation.

"Air transportation is an engine of the economic growth and prosperity of a country, in terms of the movement of people and goods, as well as employment creation,' she said.

According to her, 50 percent of Ghana's total export was airlifted through the Kotoka International Airport (KIA),whilst over 70 percent of international tourists entered the country by air.

Mrs. Attivor observed that the government of Ghana had spared no effort in encouraging the development of the country's aviation sector.

"Ghana now has a world class Civil Aviation Training School, the Ghana Civil Aviation Training Academy, which has already begun admitting foreign nationals,' she noted.

The Deputy Minister said the global direction in air-transport navigation in modern times, was to switch completely to satellite-based navigation and added that Ghana had set up a performance based navigation task force, to be abreast of the new order.

She said in April, 2009, Ghana implemented the Atlantic Ocean Random Route Area Program, which enabled aircraft that flew over the Atlantic ocean of the country's flight information region, to fly with minimum wind effect, adding that this also helped in fuel efficiency.

Mrs. Attivor said the country's political stability, economic development, the oil find among others, led to an increase in the number of airlines seeking to operate in Ghana and commended the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority(GCAA) for a good job done.

"The GCAA has not been found wanting in standing tall in modern global civil aviation trends, and government feels proud to associate itself with the success story," she said.

According to her,"It is expected that the completion of the KIA phase three project would mark the achievement of the vision of launching KIA as the air transport hub and investment gate-way to West Africa,"

Air Commodore Kwame Mamphey, Director General of the GCAA, noted that international civil aviation had contributed greatly to global integration.

"Economies of the world have built international business portfolios and strong international relations on the back of civil aviation," he observed.

The GCAA Director General said ICAO deserved commendation for continually ensuring that there was adequate safety and security in global civil aviation.

He observed that as a contracting state of ICAO, Ghana had implemented all the key international requirements and standards on aviation security and safety over the years.

"The Accra flight information region made up of Togo, Benin, Ghana and a large portion of the Atlantic ocean, is considered one of the safest in the world.'

Air Commodore Mamphey said this had attracted several airlines to Ghana, which strengthened the country's economy and improved tourism.

He said in order to raise more awareness and interest in aviation, the GCAA was strongly encouraging recreational flying as well as all the aspects of general aviation.

The GCAA Director General recalled that December 17th, 2009 marked 166 years of the first powered, controlled and sustained flight by a heavier than air machine carrying a man.

A joint message form the President of the ICAO council, as well as the Secretary General of ICAO, was read by the UN representative to Ghana, Mr. Daouda Toure.

The celebration of International Civil Aviation Day which was created on December 7th, 1944, is to highlight the importance of civil aviation globally in the social and economic development of states and the role of ICAO in promoting efficiency and safety in international civil aviation.