The Regional Vice-President for Africa and Middle East of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Kamil H. Al-Awadhi, has cautioned Ghana against increase in Airport charges.
“Ghana must resist the temptation of increasing Airport charges against IATA’s rules and regulations,” he stated in his remarks via zoom during the 4th Aviation Ghana stakeholders meeting held in Accra on Tuesday.
He said an increase in airport charges against the rules of IATA would affect the country’s thriving aviation industry.
As part of the programme, there was a panel discussion on the topic “Post COVID-19 Recovery Process and the Journey Ahead”, to consider measures to promote the aviation industry.
In his remarks, Mr Al-Awadhi, said resilience had been the hallmark of the aviation industry globally since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said the global aviation industry in 2020 lost $6.9 billion out of the predicted figure of $9.7 billion.
“The global aviation industry expects to make a profit of $4.7 billion in 2023, the first profit to be made since 2019,” he said.
Mr Al-Awadhi disclosed that Africa’s aviation sector in the year 2020 lost $638 million and the loss was expected to be reduced to $213 million in 2023.
He called on governments in Africa to put measures in place to spur the growth and recovery of the sector.
“An enabling regulatory environment will help in job creation and recovery of Africa’s aviation sector,” Mr Al-Awadhi stated.
The Minister of Transport, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, who was the special guest, said the global economy depended heavily on the aviation industry.
“Aviation connects people, cultures and businesses. Indeed, the importance of the industry cannot be overstated,” he said.
He assured that the government would continue to create an environment for the aviation sector to thrive.
The Deputy Minister of Transport, Alhaji Alhassan Tampuli, responding to the issue of high Airport Charges, said Ghana had one of the lowest Airport Passenger Service Charge in Africa.
He said the Airport Passenger Service Charge was GH¢ 1 in 2009, and increased to GH¢ 5 in 2010, and since 2010 the levy has not been increased.
Alhaji Tampuli said Guinea Bissau and Gambia charged between $6 and $13 as Airport Passenger Service Charge, and the average in West Africa was $4.63.
He said Ghana’s Airport Passenger Service Charge in dollar terms was $0.41.
Alhaji Tampuli said the Airport Passenger Service Charge was woefully inadequate.
BY KINGSLEY ASARE
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