Players in the aviation industry in Africa and India have gathered in Accra, Ghana to strategize and promote safety in the airspace.
The 19th satellite network management committee meeting, which started yesterday and ends on 18th November, 2011, is being attended by 21 African countries as well as representatives from India, among others.
At the end of the four-day meeting, the participants are expected to come up with recommendation on how to improve security at the airports and make flights safer.
The Director General of the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority, Air Cdr Kwame Mamphey, in a welcome address, noted that there is a challenge of consolidating air navigation services among the small number of regionally organized centers to ensure effective implementation of a seamless air space to deliver cost reductions urgently sought by air space users.
He stated that safety of flights depends on the provision of appropriate communication, navigation and surveillance equipment.
“Most airline passengers are unaware that the safety of the airspace depends upon the integrity, maintainability and availability of numerous radio communication and navigational aids.”
Safety, he said, also relies on the expertise of the engineers, technicians and air traffic services personnel who manage, operate and maintain the communication facilities.
The African-Indian Ocean Satellite Network christened Aerosatel network was established to promote the use of extended-range of point-to-point communication between Air Traffic Control Centres as well as share flight information
Since 2000, the network has enhanced the dissemination of flight-related data within West and Central Africa.
“It is the first aeronautical satellite communication network to be established in the world and the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) is proud to be a pioneering member,” said the Director General.
“Our engineers and technicians here GCAA and others in your administration have been able to sustain and maintain the ageing somewhat obsolete systems,” he pointed out.
He said the GCAA has bought a new voice communication control system for Northrop Grumman Park Air systems with touch screen panels for use at the Air Traffic Control Centers, control tower and the flight information center as part of measure to improve service delivery.
The Deputy Minister for Transport, Dzifa Attivor, in a keynote address, urged the Africa-India Ocean (AFI) Satellite Network Management Committee (SNMCs) to begin the practical implementation of all the wonderful ideas were conceived and documented during past SNMCs meetings by 2012 in order to modernize the system and improve its efficiency.
Mrs Attivor indicated that Africans can maintain a regional airspace that would be one of the safest in the world if the SNMCs work together as a team and put aside all personal interests and divisive tendencies.
According to her, since the inception of the project in 1993, there had been serious maintenance and sustenance of the network, making it available for air navigation services around the clock using their expertise and knowledge to keep an aged network still performing.
“By so doing air travel within our sub-region has become as safe as the skies in the developed countries.
–Daily Guide Ghana