Thorough consultation needed on prohibition of overtaking aircraft

Charles Kraikue – Chief Executive Officer, Ghana Civil Aviation Authority

The country’s civil aviation regulator, the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), has announced that it is banning aircraft over 20 years old from using the country’s airspace.

The article, which appeared on the front page of yesterday’s Daily Graphic, said the measure was aimed, among other things, at ensuring the safety of passengers and crew, as well as their comfort en route to and from the Ghana.

Therefore, the GCAA will soon issue a new directive to prevent airlines from importing or flying commercial aircraft 20 years and older into the country.

When the directive is released, Ghana will join a growing list of countries, such as Nigeria, Uganda, Thailand, Bolivia, Malaysia, Mongolia and Turkey, which have imposed age caps on aircraft. commercial.

The Daily Graphic believes the decision is the right one, as the importance of safety in aviation and the airline industry cannot be overstated.

Implementing effective safety programs in aviation and the airline industry not only saves the lives of employers and employees, but also the countless customers who use the service every day.

The importance of security in aviation and the airline industry is staggering.

When an incident occurs, some of the public are more hesitant to fly, resulting in lost revenue for the airline industry and our economy as a whole.

This is in addition to the potential lives lost.

Most airlines continue to fly planes as they age, and many of these planes have already exceeded their economic design goals.

Experience shows that high-cycle aircraft, even those that are well built and maintained in good condition, are vulnerable to structural fatigue as they age.

Also, according to aviation safety experts, corrosion problems often occur in older aircraft.

The “economic design goal” of an aircraft is generally considered to be the period of service, after which a substantial increase in maintenance costs should occur in order to ensure continued operational safety.

A high-cycle aircraft is an aircraft that has experienced a high number of pressurization cycles.

A full cycle is made up of takeoff, pressurization, depressurization, and landing, as these activities put the most strain on an aircraft.

As the airline fleet ages, these age-related incidents can become commonplace and result in the tragedy of unnecessary loss of life.

Complicating the issue is the fact that the demand for air travel has increased dramatically since the deregulation of the airline industry and production cannot keep up with the growing demand for new aircraft.

Increased competition and the high cost of replacing older aircraft are prompting airlines to cut costs by continuing to use aging aircraft.

Even with the continued use of these older aircraft, manufacturers operating at full capacity cannot immediately meet the needs of the growing industry.

These factors are forcing airlines to offer an increased number of flights with an aging aircraft fleet, increasing the possibility of future age-related accidents. Proper maintenance procedures for aging aircraft are essential if airlines are to continue to meet public demand.

Although the age limit has little, sometimes no direct impact on the airworthiness of an aircraft, and if proper maintenance procedures are followed, chronological age is not a limit, the guideline has become necessary due to recent periodic complaints and passenger dissatisfaction.

Recent persistent complaints from Ghanaian passengers and how they are being harmed by these airlines operating in the country has compelled the GCAA to impose age restrictions on commercial carriers to ensure that passengers get the best when flying to and from Ghana.

The authority also announced that it is currently in talks with relevant stakeholders on the new directive which aims to impose an aircraft age restriction regime.

While we support the GCAA directive, we believe it must engage all stakeholders, especially air operators, to ensure smooth and successful compliance with the directive.

When there is good understanding and alignment between the regulator and its stakeholders, this will allow for flawless execution of the directive.

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