Mr Charles Irikefe Erhueh, the Commissioner of the Banjul Accord Group Accident Investigation Agency (BAGAIA), on Monday commended Ghana for establishing the Aircraft Accident, Incident Investigation and Prevention Bureau (AIB).
The Commissioner made the commendation at a technical committee meeting in Accra to brainstorm on the way forward regarding investigating aircraft accidents in the sub-region.
The meeting, hosted by Ghana, was on the theme: “The Harmonisation of the BAGAIA Policy and Procedures Manuals.”
It had supports from the European Union under the European Union Aviation Safety for Africa.
BAGAIA is an independent accident and incident investigation agency in West Africa with Ghana, The Gambia, Nigeria, Guinea, Cape Verde, Liberia and Sierra Leone being members.
The establishment of the AIB Ghana is in compliance with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Standards and Recommended Practices.
Its primary objective is to investigate, prevent, regulate and oversee the management of aircraft accidents and incidents that occur in Ghana.
Mr Erhueh stated the commitment of BAGAIA to strengthening alliance in the sub-region, pledging to do more to ensure aircraft accidents were reduced to the barest minimum.
He said BAGAIA was proposing to develop a $1.5 million integration of Flight Data Analysis Capability for member states with the world-class Nigeria AIB existing FDR/CVR Safety lab as the central hub for expert technical support.
Mr Erhueh said though COVID-19 had affected operations of airlines on the continent, BAGAIA was soliciting support of member states for the Agency to carry out its key functions and help make the sub-regional airspace safe.
Mr Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, the Minister of Transport, in a speech read on his behalf, said Ghana’s hosting of the event re-echoed the country’s vision of enhancing cohesion and integration of the African people to harness its human capital and resources for the development of the continent.
The aviation industry, he reemphasised, was the quickest means of connection between countries and continents, stressing that it was necessary to put in place frameworks to ensure effective, efficient and safer operations in the airline sector.
“Ghana is committed to assist in any way possible for the sustainability and continued strengthening of BAGAIA. We remain committed to fulfilling all our obligations to BAGAIA and the ICAO and call on Member States to demonstrate similar commitments,” he said.
The Minister said Ghana would continue to provide the necessary support and policy direction to ensure that the AIB Ghana was well capacitated, strengthened and strategically positioned to perform its functions effectively.
Ghana achieved the highest effective implementation score of 89.89 per cent in the ICAO Coordinated Validated Mission in 2019 and was given the most prestigious award in safety and security at the ICAO 40th Assembly in Montreal, Canada.
Mr Akwesi Agyeibi Prempeh, Commissioner of AIB Ghana, said since its establishment, some investigations had been made, procedure, policy and administrative manuals developed and were operational with the necessary structures and infrastructure being established.
On June 5, 2000, Ghana Air Link, Fokker F-27 Friendship 600 (G-524) carrying 54 people was involved in an accident in Accra resulting in the death of six persons.