Mr Joseph Kofi Adda, Minister of Aviation has cut the sod for the construction of new office block for the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) at the Kotoka International Airport.

Mr Adda said “this is what I call a two-in one event for the Aviation sector, as we are building an eight-storey structure and a Northern Apron. I commend the two agencies GCAA and Ghana Airport Company Limited (GACL) for the effort.”

He described the occasion as significant in fulfilling the vision of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to expand the frontiers of the aviation industry and also, in seeking to make Ghana the hub of aviation within the West African sub-region.

The Minister observed that creating space to accommodate more aircraft in anticipation of the steadily growing aviation traffic in and out of Ghana, was a show of great foresight on the part of the leadership of the aviation sector.

“Additionally, by making available to the regulator of the aviation industry, the GCAA, sufficient space for the development of more facilities for improved services, also confirmed that safety and security remained the top priority of the sector,” Mr. Adda said.

He said whilst the old headquarters building, constructed in the late 1960s had well served the GCAA, current conditions required a more suitable building, which made the initiative significant.

The Minister said while there was the need for significant advancement on infrastructural investments in the aviation sector in Ghana, there was the need to continue to improve air navigation systems and services, to ensure safety and security.

He said the ministry and the GCAA were taking steps to improve the nation’s ranking globally with the impending International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Audit, to be conducted later this month.

Mr. Adda said legislative work was currently going on, following granting of executive approval by the President Akufo-Addo, to amend the existing laws, so as to strengthen safety and security, “by curing” some of the defects on our existing statutes”.

“The ICAO Audit would therefore find Ghana’s aviation regime, even a much more improved one than what exists today,” he said.

The Minister said, “in the mean time, GCAA, your hard work is duly recognised, and passengers travelling by air in Ghana should be assured that their safety is assured.”

Mr. Simon Allotey, Director General of the GCAA, gave a break-down of the project and said the GCAA had executed an agreement with Amandi Investments Limited to undertake the “design and build project” on a turn-key basis.

He gave a detailed description of scope of works for the design and projects as an eight-storey commercial structure with a total built area of approximately 9,300m2 with an underground parking floor, a ground floor, six floors above ground floor which would serve as commercial offices, with meeting and multipurpose areas.

Others include; a data centre infrastructure facility communication, fire detection and fire protection, cafeteria facilities, a nurse station, an executive lounge, parking spaces, green space among others.

Mr. Allotey said the GCAA had embarked on the separation of air navigation provision from regulatory services, in line with best international practice, adding that the existence of an independent regulator would ensure safety and security oversight of the entire aviation industry.

Mr Yaw Kwakwa, GACL Acting Managing Director said the GACL had over the years, worked hard to ensure that the country’s aviation industry was up to standard.

“We will continue to work hard towards positioning Ghana as the preferred aviation hub in West Africa,” he said and added, that the GACL would also contribute its quota towards ensuring that the projects were completed on time.