Directive on airline passenger rights and safety to be issued by end 2018- GCAA – DG

Mr. Simon Allotey, Director General of Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA)

A directive to ensure the safety and protection of the rights of airline passengers will be now be issued by the end of 2018, the director-general of Ghana Civil Aviation Authority, Mr Simon Allotey has said.

In an interview with Goldstreet Business, on the sidelines of a meeting with stakeholders in the aviation sector in Accra last week, Allotey explained that the delay in the commencement of this directive has been necessitated due to some inputs that the International Aviation Transport Association (IATA) had to make, which need to be incorporated in the new directive.

The directive was initially expected to be operational by the end of the third quarter of 2018.

The consumer rights aspect of the directive comprises guidelines intended to guarantee that services rendered to consumers are fit for purpose.

Over the past few months, the issue of consumer protection has attracted increasing attention, highlighted by occasions of air travel disruptions due to overbookings and flight cancellations among others.

This directive when operationalized will ensure that both passengers and service providers particularly airlines, know their rights, responsibilities and obligations, so that services provided meet standards.

Home-Based Carrier

On the topic of the proposed home-based carrier, Allotey said when the anticipated Carrier begins the process certification, the Authority would provide the necessary support to ensure that the certification process is completed in a timely manner, without compromising on safety standards.

The first stage of the certification process would be a review of the business plan of the Carrier, in order for the Authority to grant an economic license, known as the air carrier license.

The second stage is the technical process meant to review its technical manuals, as well as qualification of technical staff and inspection of the aircraft, as well as an actual demonstration flight.

This would qualify the Carrier to become a fully-fledged airline.

The whole process is meant to ensure that the airline meets the requisite international standards.

Aircraft Age

Allotey revealed that in the future the authority would introduce a cap on the age of aircraft used in the country.

Currently Ghana has no policy capping the age of aircraft. However, he noted that, in a number of countries, there is a cap on the age of aircraft which ranges from 15 to 20 years of being in operational use for the first time.

By Joshua W. Amlanu