Staff of the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) began a strike yesterday, October 14, to picket against the encroachment of aviation lands at the La Wireless Station adjacent the AU Village in Accra.
The staff protested that activities of a private developer on the land is interrupting with critical aviation cable installments underground affecting the ability of the Air Navigation Services (ANS), a department within the GCAA responsible for managing air traffic on behalf of the country to get clear signals to aid the arrival and departure of airplanes.
The strike action on Wednesday, resulted in the disruption of the operations of two domestic airlines – Africa World Airline (AWA) and Passions Airline.
Several passengers were stranded at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) as staff of the ANS refused to provide aviation signals to aid the departure of domestic airlines at the KIA.
Reports indicate that, staff of the GCAA have demanded for a Memorandum of Understanding (Mou) with Government, after a meeting the Minister of Aviation, Joseph Adda, Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, Ignatius Baffoe Awuah and Deputy Minister of Interior Henry Quartey who were all present at the premises of GCAA and witnessed the strike action by staff of the GCAA.
Background to the long-running issue
The land on which the La Wireless Station Aviation Training School in Accra is sited was leased by government on behalf of the GCAA from the La Traditional Council for a total of 99 years.
As at last year, there were 27 years left on the lease. The lease has since been renewed for an additional 63years but with portions of the land reverting back to the La Traditional Council.
Developers, backed by the Council, have since started redeveloping portions of the land. It is this activity that caused damage to some underground cables of various Air Navigation Service (ANS) installations. This threatens aviation safety in the Accra Flight Information Region (FIR).
More time needed to relocate staff
Mr. Kofi Adda revealed that staff affected by the redevelopment of parts of the land in issue will be relocated to other decent facilities.
“We have come to some understanding on the window that we need to resolve the matters that are before us now. That is, to be able to get some time frame to relocate some of our staff that are in bungalows that have to be reconverted into new developments.
“Also some of the developments that have to take place in the government allocated lands which are closers to the transmitters and receivers stations are things that we have to deal with. We will need some more time to be able to resolve these matters.”