By By Dominick Andoh & Natasha Appiah, aviationghana.com
The Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), the aviation sector regulator, has held meetings with relevant stakeholders aimed at addressing the increasing cases of pilfering and COVID-19 violations at the Kotoka International Airport.
Staff of licensed ground handling companies have been the most arrested for pilfering by Aviation Security of Ghana Airports Company Limited (AVSEC) and handed over to the Airport Police for further investigations and prosecution.
Ground handling is a critical component of the commercial aviation environment and are instrumental in ensuring that flights run on schedule and passengers are satisfied.
It involves a range of flight and passenger services provided during an aircraft’s stopover at an airport. Ground handling is carried out by either a separate divisions of commercial airlines or concessionaires subcontracted by the airlines.
They must work to also satisfy their customers-airline operators- by minimizing turnaround times and adhering to stringent service level agreements (SLAs).
In Ghana, airlines are not allowed to undertake their own ground handling but must choose from registered operators. The registered and regulated ground handling companies in Ghana include: Aviance, AHS Aviation Handling (MENZIES), and Swissport.
Last week, a staff of a registered ground handler attempted selling a fake negative PCR result to a passenger travelling from Accra to a neighbouring West African country. The passenger feigned interest and reported the issues to authorities. The individual was arrested and handed over to the police.
On the issue of pilfering, a staff of a ground handling company on Thursday, December 17 caught with several phones in his possession after handling an aircraft. He was subsequently arrested and handed over to the police.
AviationGhana sources close to the issue noted that: “Failure of ground handling companies to meet their service level agreements can lead to widespread customer dissatisfaction and give the country a bad name. Hence, the decision to investigate and sanction offending operators as the case may be.”