The Ghana Airports Company Limited has officially informed the International Air Transport Association (IATA) of Ghana government’s decision to fully roll out the use of the GhanaCard as an acceptable travel document for in-bound Ghanaian travellers.
AviationGhana sources say GACL wrote to IATA as directed by the Office of the Vice President this week informing the airline body about the decision.
The Vice President’s office, which has been leading the initiative to make the GhanaCard an e-passport, was optimistic about the rollout date given the installation of readable travel documents machines at the Kotoka International Airport and the ongoing training of border control officers to use the machines.
An attachment to the email sent by GACL to IATA and seen by AviationGhana said: “Following a ‘key ceremony’ at the headquarters of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) in Montreal, Canada, on 9th February 2022, Ghana’s National Identity Card (GhanaCard) is now duly recognised globally as a valid ID Card-passport, a Machine Readable Travel Document ( MRTD) that can be read and verified by ICAO Public Key Directory at most airports.
“Ghana Airports Company Limited announces to all airports and airlines that holders of a valid GhanaCard should be allowed to board flights to Ghana without the need for a visa. This takes effect from 1st March, 2022.”
The notice to IATA was published on the IATA TIMATIC Platform for the general information of all airlines and other concerned stakeholders.
Some airlines servicing the Kotoka International Airport, upon receipt of the IATA notice, have begun liaising with their headquarters in preparation for the eventual rollout.
For now, the Ghana Card e-Passport will be accepted for boarding of flights into Ghana only, subject to the rules and regulations of immigration and health officials in the 197 eligible ICAO-member countries.
The use of the Ghana Card as the sole document for travelling abroad is not possible until Ghana completes the next stage of the integration process that makes it possible to issue visas on the card by the relevant embassies and consulates in-country.
For dual citizens and resident foreigners who have the card, border control officers at Kotoka International Airport confirmed that the Ghana card will act as their visa and facilitate their admittance into Ghana.