In pursuit of international standards in the provision of airline services, in the country, an economic directive on passenger rights and consumer protection for the industry is to be instituted.
The policy, currently in its final stages, is expected to be operational by the end of the third quarter of 2018.
The Director General of Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), Mr. Simon Allotey, made this known when organizers of the Accra Weizo 2018 call on Aviation Minister, Cecilia Abena Dapaah.
The consumer rights are guidelines intended to guarantee that services rendered to consumers are fit for purpose.
In the past few months, the issue of consumer protection has attracted increasing attention, highlighted by occasions of air travel disruptions due to overbooking and flight cancellations, among others.
Allotey said this directive will warrant that both passengers and service providers, particularly airlines, know their responsibilities and obligations, so that services provided meet standards.
“Delivery of quality service to customers is paramount to the successful operations of our industry,” he stated.
Allotey noted that inputs were received from both airlines and the public.
Earlier this year, the Ministry had received grievances about the delay of an Accra bound British Airways flight from Heathrow Airport in London, United Kingdom, due to the presence of bed bugs (parasite) on the plane, which forced passengers to wait for several hours at the airport.
To this effect, the Aviation Minister cautioned the management of British Airways to improve their services to Ghana or face sanctions.
The Minister also reiterated that customer service is an area the ministry is paying keen attention to.
“The customers are our cherished, who need to be protected and served well.”
The new policy direction is key in the government’s vision of making the country an aviation hub in the sub-region.
The country has, in recent years, scaled up Investments in the sector to realise its aspirations; in the third quarter of this year, the third international terminal at KIA is expected to be commissioned.
Spread over five floors and 45,000 Sq. metres, Terminal 3, for which construction began in March 2016, the Terminal 3 will expand the airport’s total passenger-handling capacity to five million from a total passenger throughput of 2.3 million and significantly ease peak-hour congestion at the existing international Terminal 2.
By Joshua W. Amlanu