In the bid to address the dwindling numbers of aviation professionals in the sector, including pilots and crew members, Aviation Minister, Cecilia Abena Dapaah has disclosed that government is concentrating on the training of professionals for the industry.
She made this known at a meeting with aviation educational institutions.
According to experts, training of professionals in the industry is bedevilled with challenges including high cost of training and a lack of training facilities, among others.
Recent market forecast by Airbus indicates that Africa would need 1,000 commercial jets and 21,700 new pilots in the next 20 years, while Boeing estimates that Africa would demand 18,000 new pilots and 22,000 technicians over the same time period.
Dapaah asked that training institutions partner government to ensure the channelling of the teeming youth into the industry, to take advantage of the expected boom in the industry.
It is estimated that Africa would lead the industry by 2030, with growth rates at about 5.9 percent, which would be more than the world average.
In addressing the cost incurred, in terms of training, industry players have called for the possible creation of some form of student loan for pilot trainees and other crew members, if the country is to curb the shortfall of such professionals.
The meeting is one of several others, which are expected to be held to address the looming crisis in the domestic industry.
Dapaah said the ministry will focus attention on providing the needed infrastructure and policies.
“Fortunately for us, geographically, we are strategically placed. So through tourism we can do a lot to increase the GDP of this country,” she observed
Dapaah noted that there are plans to have a new commercial airport for the Western and Central Regions.
She hinted at the near completion of the phase two of projects in Kumasi and Tamale, as well as the reactivation of abandoned airstrips across the country.
By Joshua W. Amlanu