1.         BACKGROUND

Prior to the advent of the Directorate of Commerce (Dcom) in 1997, commercial, marketing and promotion, business development and air transport and economic regulations issues were scattered between departments, notably Airport Operations and Flight Safety Standards (FSS). As these departments have their individual primary functions which are uniquely different from these issues, such a setup therefore, left the Authority without the necessary focus and expertise to adequately address these functions thus resulting in an adverse impact on the full exploitation of our earning potential and effective and efficient monitoring and supervision of  the implementation of the tenets of signed Bi lateral Air Service Agreements (BASA), Multi Lateral Air Service Agreements (MASA), Air Service Licenses (ASL), Air Operators Certificates (AOC), Agency Licenses, etc.  While the establishment of Dcom had greatly enhanced the gross earnings of the Authority, approximately 20%, this has been stifled by the presence of the regulation functions in a separate department.  Hence the urgent need to centralize these related functions to the competent directorate for competence and efficiency.

2.         ADVANTAGES

The advantages of creating specialized department to carry out both air transport and regulatory functions is immense and it will therefore be appropriate to mention a few:

Q    Enhanced safety and comfort of air travelers by complimenting the efforts of FSS in this regard,

Q   Improve service standards through regular and focused supervision and monitoring,

Q   Efface frequent and consistent downages of new airlines,

Q   Eliminate frivolous issuance of AOCs and Licenses,

Q  Minimize if not eradicate account delinquencies thereby augmenting gains made in the enhancement of earnings,

Q  Lighten the work load of FSS to enable them to focus on their core competence,

3.         CONCLUSIONS

As a small airport, in terms of passenger and aircraft movements, but with a seemingly equal intensive capital outlay as other international airports, it is essential that we ensure total collection of all bills and full exploitation of no aeronautical revenue generating potentials.  Critically, this is one of the key advantages that the setting up of such a department will bring. Additionally, the industry trend shows that all leading and successful CAAs have adopted such set ups.

It is therefore essential that GCAA also follows in this footstep to build on the gains already made by the authority in all areas.












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