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Ghana races to meet ICAO’s 2023 GADSS timeline

The Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation and Prevention Bureau (AIB-Ghana) has moved to meet timelines given by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) on Global Aeronautical Distress and Safety System (GADSS) initiative.

The bureau as a result has engaged the services of a Flight Sciences Company, Star Navigation Group Limited, to integrate an In-flight Safety Monitoring System (ISMS) to digitise the country’s aviation safety checks.

Also known as the STAR-ISMS, the sophisticated technology seeks to provide aerospace solutions—hardware and software —that assist aviation operators worldwide.

Speaking to Joy Business at the West Africa Aviation Accident Prevention and Airline Performance Optimisation Conference to sensitise stakeholders on the new technologies, Acting Commissioner of AIB-Ghana, Akwasi Agyeibi Prempeh, said the innovation seeks to change the traditional way of investigating or preventing aircraft accidents.

Ghana races to meet ICAO's 2023 GADSS timeline

“The technology we are looking at will give us real-time information where we will be monitoring the aircraft from taking off, in the sky up till when it land”, he said.

Mr. Prempeh added, “Very soon, this emerging technology will be ICAO’s standard practice for all states to integrate so as a nation, we have to make sure that we meet the standard recommended practices before it comes to the fore.”

ICAO delayed its January 2021 date for its Global Aeronautical Distress and Safety System (GADSS) initiative until 2023.

Under the newly implemented two-year postponement, the standard for the distress tracking element of GADSS will now be applicable as of January 2023 for new-build aircraft. Following a survey by ICAO on preparedness, the agency’s Air Navigation Commission recommended this postponement to 2023, which was approved by the ICAO Council in 2020. 

Ghana races to meet ICAO's 2023 GADSS timeline

For his part, Senior Director of Investor Relations at Star Navigation Systems Group Ltd., Harmeet Gill said the technology was developed through Artificial Intelligence to make life safer for the public.

“If that human who is flying that aircraft can get help from the ground in real time and be notified on what’s going on, the ground now can actually help him by saying that you have a critical problem and maybe tell him what he needs to do or he can have a better look at that when something happens and on top of that you got satellite communications”, he said.

Meanwhile, Executive Vice President of Flight Path International, Captain Jonathan Kordich; Deputy Director-General of the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), Daniel Acquah touted the increased number of drone operations in the country’s airspace.

Also known as RPAS, he said the technology is a key development in the aviation industry.

“The GCAA has developed the Technical Directives Part 28 and associated guidance materials to provide direction in RPAS Operations in Ghana to ensure safe, harmonised and sustainable operations”, he said.

The West Africa Aviation Accident Prevention and Airline Optimisation Conference, the first in Ghana, brought together stakeholders in Ghana’s aviation space. It was themed, “Human Factor versus Emerging Technologies.

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