Benjamin Mensah, GNA
Accra, March 18, GNA - Mr Yaw Afful, Deputy Minister designate for Aviation on Monday promised to team up with the Minister to ensure that there are modern airplanes, and enough professional pilots and crew staff for safety and security of air passengers.
He said he had some information that the aircraft involved in the recent Ethiopia air disaster was the 1967 type, but modern air travel needed the most efficient type of aircraft and professionalism to protect passengers from avoidable dangers.
He said although the investigation into that incident was yet to be completed, he had learnt that a softaware problem was partly to blame for the accident.
Appearing before the Appointments Committee of Parliament in Accra, Mr Afful identified some types of airplanes as the Classics, New Generation, Maximum Eight and Maximum Nine.
The committee pointed out to the deputy Minister designate that the quality of airplanes from Ghana to other transit points outside Ghana and the services, on same flight was better than those from Ghana as one journeyed on.
Mr Afful said it had been getting suitable aircraft, and it was sometimes difficult to get pilots for them.
“When you go to Europe for the pilots, you have to pay premium,” Mr Afful said.
He promised that Ministry would ensure that the training school for pilots, sited in the Volta Region would become fully operational.
Mr Afful, who is also the MP for Jaman South, also exchanged a lot of banters with colleague Members of Parliament on the Committee, although they described him as affable, friendly and humane.
Asked why he was popular on both Sides of the House, the Deputy Minister Designate responded: “because they are my friends.”
Mr Afful said there was a promise that the Ministry would embark on a deliberate and well calculated programme to enhance the environmental appearance of the airports in Ghana, and suggested additional tax breaks to airlines that would trickle down to reduce the cost of tickets.
The Deputy Minister Designate agreed that customer relations at the airports were poor and terrible, and suggested periodic professional enhancement programmes for all categories of aviation staff.
He said he would further engage in talks with the airlines to do more in the area of their corporate social responsibility.
Mr Haruna Iddrisu, Minority Leader and MP for Tamale South, commended Mr Afful as “a gentleman who promotes inter-party dialogue.”