Thursday, 08 December 2011 08:24
The Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has commissioned the newly installed Doppler Very High Frequency Omni-Range (DVOR) and Distance Measuring Equipment (DME).
The event was part of activities to mark the 67th International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO ) Day celebration.
The DVOR and DME is the state of the art equipment, incorporated with aeronautical terminal information system, which broadcasts vital aeronautical information such as weather and airport situational awareness, directly to pilots.
The new equipment enables pilots to navigate aircraft safely and efficiently to or from airports under all weather conditions without the need to depend on air traffic controllers for information.
The equipment attracted the cost of more than one million dollars.
As part of the activities to mark the day on the theme: “Assistance and Co-operation for globally sustainable Air transport,” journalists were offered the opportunity to acquaint themselves with the recently commissioned Automatic Dependence Surveillance-Contract/Controller Pilot Data Link Communications (ADS-C/CPDLC).
This equipment is an ICAO future air navigation system which will eventually replace voice communication. This is because the currently used of HF and VHF equipment have various limitations especially with coverage of remote continental air spaces and oceanic areas and the noisy nature of the HF radios.
The ADS-C/CPDLC addresses these limitations by using data links or text messages instead of voice for air-ground communications between pilots on appropriately equipped aircrafts and air traffic controllers.
Alhaji Collins Dauda, Minister for Transport who commissioned the DVOR/DME expressed the hope that the use of the new equipment will enhance safety and security as well as flexibility in Ghana’s airspace.
“ I am very excited to observe that the GCAA has not been found wanting with regard to modern global civil aviation trends,” he said.
He pledged Government’s continues support to the GCAA to provide safety oversight in the Accra Flight Information Region to ensure that all airlines operating in the country do so in maximum safety and security.
Alhaji Dauda said he was hopeful that with the tireless efforts been made by the GCAA, Ghana will soon regain the federal aviation authority Category 1 status to enable Ghanaian register carriers to operate directly to the United States.
Air Commodore Kwame Mamphey, Director-General of the GCAA said an agreement has been reached for a technical review of the GCAA from December 12- December 16, which will reveal possible gaps and give the authority the opportunity to address them before the actual audit in 2012.
The audit, he explained is one of the most important assessments that the authority submits itself to, in order to confirm and strengthen best industry practices.
Air Commodore Mamphey outlined several initiatives that the GCAA has undertaken including the implementation of flexible routes in collaboration with ICAO and the international air transport association in continental and oceanic regions.
This, he said, is to enable flights to use flexible routes, rather than conventional fixed routes and aided by wind direction to save fuel and reduce CO2 emissions.
He also revealed that the authority is procuring a state-of-the-art air traffic control voice communication system to provide a comprehensive set of functions and systems necessary for professional air traffic control communications.
The system has the capacity to accommodate 36 air traffic control user positions, which will improve communication and safety.
The ICAO Day is celebrated annually on December 7 to establish and reinforce awareness of the importance of international civil aviation in the socio-economic development of states and the role of ICAO in promoting the safety, efficiency and regularity of international air transport.