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Air disaster looms over ‘neglect’ of safety concerns – Group

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The Bureau of Public Safety (BPS) is warning of what it refers to as a looming danger in Ghana’s aviation industry due to the neglect of safety standards.

As a result, it is demanding a thorough audit into the operations of the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA).

The civil society group maintains that the failure by the GCAA to comply with a caution on the quality of the pilot seat of a Starbow aircraft, partly accounted for the accident that occurred in November last year.

The comments also follow the investigative report on the cause and recommendations into the incident by an ad-hoc committee.

The Executive Director of the Bureau of Public Safety, Nana Yaw Akwadah tells Citi Business News the issue must be taken seriously.

“We are calling on the ICAO to immediately open an audit into the activities and practices of the GCAA just so we know whether they are complying with the minimum standards by ICAO; we have also called for them to provide us with the recent audit report on the GCAA for study so that we can assure ourselves and the public of their safety,” he told Citi Business News.

A Kumasi bound Starbow aircraft skidded off the runway at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) on that fateful day; November 25, 2017.

All passengers and crew members were however able to escape unhurt.

The issue led to the commissioning of an investigative committee.

But subsequently, Starbow which had only one aircraft operating at the time, suspended activities and asked almost all of the workers of the company to go home, albeit temporarily.

The investigative committee has since completed its work but the Bureau of Public Safety maintains that the officials of the GCAA neglected an earlier safety precaution.

“The Bureau of Public Safety has come to the firm conclusion that the unfortunate incident which may have cost over sixty-eight lives could have been prevented had the regulator i.e. Ghana Civil Aviation Authority ensured that an earlier issued air worthiness directive (AD No. 2016-0256) regarding the seats of the pilot and the co-pilot were implemented,” portions of the statement indicated.

The consumer group added, “We found it extremely worrying that investigators having established evidential and unambiguous violation on the part of the GCAA still went ahead to fault only Starbow (i.e the operator) and the flight crew without any recommendations whatsoever for the regulator (i.e. GCAA).”

By: Pius Amihere Eduku/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana

Citi Business News