The spokesperson of the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCCA) workers, Mr William Amoako says that, the nation risks losing airspace and having crashes if the lands which belong to the authority is encroached by government and individuals.
His statement comes on the back of why workers of the GACA were agitated by the encroachment of their land.
Speaking during an interview, he said that, with the responsibilities placed on the authority, if the lands are taken and there are no lands left to plant their equipment to ensure that the air space is safe, aircraft accidents will be the dangerous consequence we will face as a nation which will not be favorable.
“We all travel and we all know that aircraft accident is very dangerous unlike vehicles where you can survive. If this continues, first of all, we even risk losing the air space. Airspace are not given on country by country basis. The international community will look at your capability and demarcate an airspace for you.”
Speaking on how government has responded to their agitations and concerns, he said that, the government has responded positively and they are so happy about it especially with the current situation.
“Previously, anytime we raise issues, it’s just being tackled abruptly and we don’t have a concrete solution but now, we have gone as far as to the Chief of Staff and there is a firm promise and we believe it.”
He then revealed that, a committee is being set up to look into the technical aspect of operations and see how best they can get sufficient land to ensure that their operations are safe.
Touching on if government sold that land, he said although they think it’s the government, they know that it is the lands commission behind it. He said almost 90% of the sales are to individuals and are also not for government activities.
He also explained that, Ghana Airport Company Limited (GACL) and workers have never claimed allodial titles to this lands and can confidently say that, it belongs to the government because it was acquired by executive instrument.
He further said that, government took the land for aviation purposes, and they as an authority have been given a responsibility as the regulatory body of all aviation activities in the country and even beyond, so, they see land as a tool and can therefore say it belongs to the authority.
He then said, the authority was surprised that, government had gone ahead to have negotiations with allodial title holders, to change the dynamics of the industry without recourse to the impact that, it’s going to have on their operations.
He noted that, the land was purposely taken for aviation which was in the agreement and so for the government to take a portion for other purpose is a surprise.
He then disclosed that, the aviation was not involved in the beginning but rather took protest from staff and other personnel before aviation was actually considered and given a portion of it and that portion is woefully inadequate.
He noted that they are hopeful government will help them retain their land even after the lease has expired.
“So, if government has taken lands for us to use and is the one who is supposed to provide us with the land whether by executive instrument or by lease, once we are working on the land, we can say that, that land belongs to us at that particular moment because when you are ask to operate, I mean you have that legal basis to do anything on the land for that period.
“So, the La TS was taken in 1948, so its left with 27 years for the lease to expire. And we believed that, government will take steps to renew these leases for us to continue because we have our permanent structures and the services that we provide is very key to the nation and for that matter, you don’t expect, that when it expires, we will just leave the land.”