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McDan Aviation suspended from using Terminal 1 for private jet services

Management of the Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL), has indefinitely barred McDan Aviation from operating its private jet services at the Terminal 1 of the Kotoka International Airport (KIA)

This comes after airport authorities said there have been operational breaches by McDan Aviation following the inauguration of its private jet services last week.

“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 consequently directed the suspension of your use of Terminal 1 until further notice”, a letter from the GACL to McDan Aviation ordered.

It also said the decision was arrived at in reference to earlier discussions and subsequent directives to suspend the inauguration of the Private jet terminal services.

The letter dated Monday, January 31, 2022, and signed by Yaw Kwakwa, Managing Director of the GACL, was copied to the following persons:

Secretary to the President, Jubilee House; Secretary to the Vice President, Jubilee House; Transport Minister, National Security Minister, National Security Coordinator, KIA; Board Chairman, GACL; Director-General, Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA).

“You are kindly requested to relinquish the keys to enable Management to undertake a Joint Inventory by close of business day, Monday, January 31, 2022″, the letter directed to the CEO of McDan Aviation noted.

The Ghana Airports Company Limited had raised a number of concerns against McDan Aviation’s private jet operations and a terminal at the Kotoka International Airport.

The company launched the private terminal and services on Friday, January 28, 2022, at an event boycotted by the leadership of the Ghana Airports Company Limited and government officials.

Leaders within the sector, including the Minister of Transport, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, refused to attend the event following issues raised against the firm by the Ghana Airport Company Limited.

Financial obligations not met

A letter the GACL wrote to the Minister of Transport on January 24, 2022 and sighted by Citi News explained that, while McDan Aviation had satisfied all operational requirements to enable it open for business, it was “yet to fulfil its financial obligations to Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL). McDan owes GACL a total of US$4,505,034 and GHS227,293 respectively.”

It disclosed further that “as part of negotiating a payment plan, McDan paid GHS1,000,000 on January 19, 2022.”

The Ghana Airport Company also said McDan Aviation “is yet to agree on a Fixed Base Operator (Private Jet Terminal Operator) license fee with GACL.”

Alleged breaches

GACL in a letter dated January 28, 2022, directed McDan Aviation to suspend the commissioning ceremony following some alleged breaches. The Ghana Airport Company said it had “engaged in several activities without prior approval from GACL which have typically called for emergency corrective actions.”

It cited the commencement of the construction of the private jet terminal without a Plan of Construction Operation approval from GACL as an example.

“We only became aware of your construction activities during routine security patrols, and we had to ask you to stop and submit a PCO [Plan of Construction Operation] for review and approval before construction continued.”

McDan Aviation received a license to operate as a fixed-base operator at the airport in 2019.

The letter from the Ghana Airport Company requested that McDan Aviation should postpone the launch of the private jet lounge.

GACL said it was given short notice to offer logistical support, among others, at the commissioning ceremony.

“The nature of our work demands that we should have been given a reasonable period of notice to enable us to plan adequately through engagement of relevant staff and stakeholders.”

The Ghana Airport Company also said, “all attempts to meet with you for discussions in connection with the proposed inauguration over the past three days failed as a result of your failure to turn up for the planned meetings.”

The conduct of McDan Aviation also presented security concerns, according to the airport company. It said security was heavily breached at the terminal on January 27 because of the parking of several vehicles in front of the terminal building.

“What makes this disturbing is that beyond verbal admonition, we had written to you the previous day, January 26, 2022, to the effect that cars could not be parked there.”

Inaugural ceremony

McDan Aviation’s private jet services will cater to high-end clientele with a sense of optimizing luxury, and for corporate executives seeking to leverage a quick and efficient commute for the purpose of business.

Speaking during the launch on Friday evening, the Chief Executive of the McDan Group, Daniel Mckorley, said he was elated this plan had come to fruition.

“I have a lot of joy in my heart because what everybody thought was impossible, we have made it possible,” Mr. Mckorley said.

“We have a very strong team that has supported me. Ghana Airport Company has really supported me. Civil Aviation Authority has supported me,” he added.

According to him, jets shouldn’t just be viewed as just a luxury, and his plan is to “bring private jets to the doorsteps of the diplomatic corps, politicians and the business community as a whole.”

He further urged Ghanaian businesses to make similar investments in Ghana.

“I believe this current government is a business government, and it is supporting us and will support us to make a very big difference and a big impact.”

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