Air traffic controllers threaten to suspend navigation services

Flights could be grounded from next week if Air traffic controllers carry out their threat to suspend navigation services at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA).

This follows an impasse between the union and management of the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) over the use of a parcel of land.

The threat to suspend services was expected to be carried out Friday after the Air Traffic Controllers Association and Air Traffic Safety Electronics Associations went public with their grievances.

“The public is informed of a possible disruption of air traffic services to the Kotoka International Airport in Accra starting from February 19, 2016 until further notice,” the Ghana News Agency quoted the associations in a statement.

Concerned about the inconvenience of their actions, the Chief of Staff Julius Debrah has moved to meet the Director-General of the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority Friday afternoon to find an amicable solution to the problem.

While they await the outcome of the meeting, the air traffic controllers say navigation services for local flights will be suspended but they will be on hand to direct traffic for international flights in the hope that interventions from government will be fruitful.

At the heart of the impasse between the workers and GCAA and the Ghana Airport Company is the decision on how to use of a parcel of land.

The traffic controllers want the land to be used for the construction of an Air Navigation Service complex to meet international standards.

But the management reportedly wants to build an Airport City.

USAID sponsored feasibility studies in 2010 okayed the construction of a navigation service complex. The current facility is reportedly below standard and has serious security breaches.

The air traffic controllers want management to stick to the original plan to build the complex.

But contractors were arrested by security officials of the Ghana Airport Company after they began work. The workers claim the company wants to build a fuel station on the land.

It has been a series of frustrations and the workers say enough is enough.

The workers told Joy News’ Kwetey Nartey that they are waiting for the outcome of the meeting between the Chief of Staff and the Director-General of the GCAA to decide on their next course of action.

In 2014, a partial withdrawal of services by the Air traffic controllers left several passengers stranded at the airport.

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