Ghana needs railways for internal travel not airlines – Casely-Hayford

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Ghana is too small for the government to commit resources to develop internal aviation as an effective and efficient mode of transportation, this is according to social commentator, Sydney Casely-Hayford.

He said this on Citi FM/Citi Tv’s news analysis show, The Big Issue while assessing the major role of the Ministry of Aviation following the recent ministerial reshuffle by President Akufo-Addo.

President Akufo-Addo on Thursday August 9, 2018 reassigned his ministers and named Hon. Kofi Adda, former Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, as Minister for Aviation.

Cecilia Abena Dapaah, the former Minister for Aviation, also took over as Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources.

Already, the government has reiterated its commitment to ensuring that Ghana becomes the leading Aviation Hub in Africa.

But Casely-Hayford believes, resources in that regard should be channeled into developing the broken-down railway system of the country

“I am not a big fan of within the country aviation development. I think Ghana is too small for us to worry about flying from Accra to Kumasi, we are too small”.

“What I will do is to develop my rail network; in fact, putting a couple of bullet trains between Accra and key cities so I can get to Tamale may be not within 45 minutes [but] when I can get to Tamale in an hour or an hour and half.  I don’t think I have lost too much time if I do that”, he stressed.

He further argued that an internal travel by train would be more fulfilling than what he described as an ‘unnecessary’ trip within the country by air.

“Internal aviation flight is too short, say from Accra to Ho when I can drive there in 3 hours… flying there will take me say 20 minutes [it] is so unnecessary.  If I put a good fast train service over there, I can do it in 30 minutes or 45 minutes and it is good enough time to sit on the train”.

Two new airlines to join domestic flight business

In April 2018, the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) revealed that two more airline companies were tipped to join Ghana’s aviation industry.

The Director General of the Authority, Simon Allotey explained that the coming on board of the two should drive competition and impact on the cost of domestic airfares.

The two companies; Ashanti and GoldCoast airlines, had then started the process of obtaining their air carrier licenses.

That was the initial stage to indicate their readiness to operate within the aviation industry.

Mr. Simon Allotey explained what lied ahead of the two companies for a complete start of their operations as, “once they get the air carrier license, they go through a five phase air certification license program and upon completion, they are issued an air operator certificate which means they have become a fully-fledged operator capable of operating scheduled passenger and cargo operations too,” he stated.

By: Nii Larte Lartey

ABOUT: Nana Kwesi Coomson

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An Entrepreneur and Philanthropist. Editor-in-Chief of A Senior Journalist with Ghanaian Chronicle Newspaper. An alumnus of Adisadel College where he read General Arts. He holds first degree in Bachelor of Arts from the University of Ghana; Political Science (major) and History (minor). He has also pursued MSc Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Energy with Public Relations (PR) at the Robert Gordon University in the United Kingdom. He is a 2018 Mandela Washington Fellow (YALI) who studied at Clark Atlanta University on the Business and Entrepreneurship track. His mentors are Rupert Murdoch, Warren Buffet, Sam Jonah, Kwaku Sakyi Addo and Piers Morgan

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