COMMENTARY DISCUSSES THE THREAT POSED BY ENCROACHMENT ON SENSITIVE CIVIL AVIATION LANDS.
The threat by Air traffic Controllers to go on strike over encroachment on Civil Aviation reserved signal lands at La and Madina provides a piercing notice to the Authorities to immediately stop all such development activities. In fact, it is not only worrying but, disturbing to hear the concerns of the Controllers, this time not about their working conditions but the risk that the developers and encroachers pose to the nation’s Air traffic regime.
In life, nobody can rule out risk in the transport sector, but it is more pronounced in Air transport than all others although accident or disasters are the same. There is nowhere in the world where state security would ever compromise the protection of its land, sea let alone Air transport or space. That is the more reason why Government needs to heed the concerns of the Controllers about the encroachment of our air-space, especially when they are sounding the alarm for government and national security to do the needful.
Such early warnings are not supposed to be taken for granted in the personal or collective interest. As Aviation student I know for a fact that aeronautical signal space for communication, monitoring and surveillance is sacred and a no go area for everybody, no matter the political, social or economic interest. The purpose is to protect and guarantee the security and safety of the Airspace. That objective is non-negotiable and no business innovation must be dovetailed into that aspect of Air-business.
Suffice it to state that the business aspect or Air operation is limited to land sites and not Air side. Can one imagine what would have happened if what the Controllers feared before they threatened to strike has happened? The Controllers said they lost control of the sitting President, Nana Akufo-Addo on his return home. What do you think would have happened if his aircraft had crashed? Would Ghana remain intact or the company would go up in flames because nobody would immediately link the crash to the dangerous activities of the encroachers, on those sacredly reserved lands.
Such lands must be seen as developed security zones and not even the President has the right to develop or acquire such lands for any project. Thankfully the Chief of Staff Akosua Frema Opare maturely and professionally prevailed on our Air- traffic controls to rescind the decision to withdraw their services. We congratulate her for that but ask that the real issues be quickly resolved and the encroachments stopped no matter more whose ox is gored. We also congratulate the patriotic workers of the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority for drawing government’s attention to this dangerous rescue that the encroachers want to visit on our enviable Civil Aviation record.
The Lands Commission in particular should do Ghana a favor by doing due difference on such sensitive state lands and call government officials to order. It should not matter if you lose your job for doing the right thing particularly alerting government officials that such lands cannot be re-zoned because of the sensitive reason for which such lands were required. Again, National Security much play its role genuinely as the super structure whose sacred duty is to protect state, the people and its assets. Let us not allow our future to go up in flames.
Witten By George Ankrah, A Journalist