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Aviation workers angry with gov’t for encroaching on lands needed for air safety

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The Professional Workers’ Union of the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority, GCAA, is demanding an end to what it calls unlawful encroachment of the Authority’s lands.

The workers say lands demarcated for aviation safety purposes are being taken over by the government which they fear could jeopardize safety at the country’s International Airport.

In an interview with Citi Business News, Spokesperson for the Workers Union of the GCAA, William Wilberforce Amoako, illustrated how the National Cathedral project and its attendant evacuation of judges from their residences at Ridge, is affecting the GCAA.

“The lands in question are for private development and the resettling of the judges. But since the area has been demarcated, the government has taken over a portion while another portion has been allocated to the people of La. But it is our portion that we are having challenges with. We expect that the GCAA belongs to the government, as such, whatever the government takes should be for the GCAAA and not for individuals,” he remarked.

Mr. Amoako added that, “We have only been given fifteen out of the ninety acres which is not enough for the equipment that we have, and we plan to have in future. For safety of flights, we need these lands for aviation development.”

The areas cited by the Aviation Staff as being encroached upon are the GCAA lands at La Nkwatanang, La TX at Cantoments, Ashalley Botwe, and an area around the East Legon Tunnel all in Accra.

The lands to be used by the GCAA, but are gradually being taken over per the workers’ claims; ranges between 60 and 800 acres.

Citi Business News understands that the concerns have been raised by the workers since 2008 when the government at the time took thirty acres of its land at La Wireless for the construction of the AU village.

The workers also lament the confrontations they have had to endure with some of the perpetrators, who have been seen as interfering in the work of GCAA staff occupying the lands legitimately.

“Between 2014 and 2016, the government took over almost all the 614 acres of the Aviation land at La Nkwatanan, despite an earlier agreement with our management to reserve 250 acres for aviation purposes. This happened at a time we were having serious communication challenges. We had a confrontation with government and about 150 acres of that land was promised us for the installation of some new communication equipment but that never materialized,” he further intimated.

Meanwhile, the staff union has called for the removal of the Board Chairman of the GCAA, Air Commodore Rexford G.M. Acquah.

The staff union protesting the encroachment of aviation lands comprises seven professional staff unions in the aviation industry.

They say they will outline series of actions if they do not get a favourable response from the government and management.

Citi Business News has attempted responses from the management of the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority, but it is yet to officially comment on the matter.

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