The Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has installed ultra-modern facilities that will enable air traffic controllers to communicate with pilots over a data link system and also navigate aircraft safely and efficiently to and from airports under all weather conditions to address numerous challenges that air traffic controllers at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) face.
The installation of the Automatic Dependence Surveillance-Contract/ Controller Pilot Data Link Communications (ADS-C/CPDLC) cost US$767,600 while the installation of the Doppler Very High Frequency Omni-Range (DVOR)/Distance Measuring Equipment (DME) cost $1 million.
Air Commodore Kwame Mamphey, Director-General of GCAA, who disclosed this during the celebration of the 67th International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) celebration Wednesday in Accra said �even though the old equipment was functioning perfectly, it had to be replaced due to the massive encroachment of land around the DVOR site which disturbed the transmissions from the equipment.�
With the new installations, the height of the new DVOR�s antenna has been raised to about eight meters above the ground compared to the earlier one which was about three meters tall.
The GCAA boss revealed that the voice frequency band used for aeronautical communications had become congested especially in Europe and the USA, adding that there were also problems of range limitations, limited area of coverage for the current radio communication systems and the noisy nature of high frequency radios, among others.
In the Accra FIR, the radar does not cover the whole of the airspace while in the remote and oceanic areas on the Atlantic Ocean, the controller uses procedural method to determine positions of aircraft and to separate them, he noted.
Air Commodore Mamphey further said: �To ensure that this state of affairs is cemented, we are 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 to improve communication and safety in the FIR.�
Owing to the massive transformation in Ghana�s airspace traffic management, Ghana is close to regaining its Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Category 1 status it lost sometime ago which enabled Ghanaian registered carriers to operate directly to the US.
Collins Dauda, Minister of Transport, in a speech, commended GCAA for the transformation and gave assurance that government will continue to support GCAA to provide safety oversight responsibility in the Accra FIR to ensure that all airlines in the region operate with maximum safety and security.
�I am very excited to observe that the GCAA has not been found wanting with regards to modern global civil aviation trends.� About four airlines are now operating domestically as a result of Ghana�s improved airspace management.
Source: Daily Guide
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