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McDan private jet terminal: licence suspension was approved by presidency

The Office of the President was not directly involved in the cancellation of the licence, but agreed with it in principle so the right thing could be done

Checks made by Asaase News at the Ministry of Transport indicate that the order for the cancellation of the launch of McDan Aviation’s private jet terminal at Kotoka International Airport Teminal 1, issued on 31 January 2022, and the subsequent suspension of the licence held by McDan Aviation, were both made by the minister in charge of aviation, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, and implemented by the board and management of Ghana Airports Company Ltd, who agreed with the decision as the right one under the circumstances.

Though the presidency was not at all involved in the decision to cancel the launch, our checks at Jubilee House also confirm that, before taking the decision, the minister discussed the decision to suspend McDan Aviation’s licence with the Office of the President and got the full approval of the presidency before GACL effected it.

The Jubilee House source added that the president directed that immediate steps be taken to get all outstanding issues resolved, in accordance with the rules and regulations, and that the commercial interests of GACL must be secured.

Subsequently, the management team at GACL, led by Yaw Kwakwa, and the management of Ghana Civil Aviation Authority have had meetings with McDan Aviation under the direction of the Mminister to ensure that all necessary procedures and contracts are regularised and the appropriate fees concluded with the licensee, McDan Aviation.

Concerned aviators

A source close to the minister explained Kwaku Ofori Asiamah’s focus in all of this. His chief concern is that “no rules are breached or ignored by any operator, including McDan Aviation, and also no undue delays are caused any operator in getting the processes concluded. The job of Civil Aviation and Ghana Airports is to ensure that what needs to be done is done properly, without fear or favour.”

This point was highlighted further when our reporter contacted the Presidency. “It is not the business of the government to frustrate any business,” a senior officer at Jubilee House told Asaase News. “We welcome the initiative, particularly as it seeks to help make Ghana the hub for private jet travel in the region. However, our rules must be respected by all, regardless.”

On 31 January 2022, the management of GACL ordered McDan Aviation to suspend the planned launch of its private jet terminal because of security and safety concerns.

A letter signed by Yaw Kwakwa, as the then managing director of GACL, said: “We note with concern your failure to comply with the directive despite the outstanding issues on the prior terms and conditions for the use and operations of Terminal 1 as a private jet terminal.

“Management has subsequently directed the suspension of your use of Terminal 1 until further notice,” the GACL letter further stated.

Suspension in sync

McDan Aviation, in a subsequent letter, also dated 31 January 2022 but received by GACL on 3 February 2022, told GACL that it has suspended operations at its recently launched Private Jet Services at the Terminal 1 at Kotoka International Airport (KIA) in Accra.

The letter signed by Daniel McKorley, the executive chairman of the McDan Group, said, “We are writing to officially inform you [GACL] about our decision to suspend our operations at the Fixed-Base Operator (FBO) with immediate effect.

“This has become necessary to pave way for us to thoroughly engage your outfit (GACL) and all the key stakeholders on the way forward,” the letter from McDan Aviation read.

Wilberforce Asare

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