Parliament approves report on AASI Regulations, 2012 (LI 2375)


Parliament has approved the report on the Aircraft Accident and Serious Incident Regulations, 2019, (Legislative Instrument 2375).

Presenting the report at the Plenary, the Vice Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Subsidiary Legislation, Mr. Bernard Ahiafor, stated that the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) is mandated to enforce the standards and recommended practices developed by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) as well as Conventions adopted by the Organisation.
He indicated that as part of the periodic audits by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) through Co-ordinated Validation Mission (ICVM), the Organisation assesses the level of compliance by member countries of such practices and conventions.
Mr. Ahiafor who doubles as Member of Parliament for Akatsi South, pointed out that the standards and recommended practices of the aviation industry are amended on regular basis.
Mr. Ahiafor reiterated that lapses identified by audits are referred to the respective countries for redress in order not to compromise the safety of air transportation.
He explained at the Plenary that it is in the light of such audits that ICAO has recommended some changes to be made and investigations carried out in respect of accidents and serious incidents involving aircrafts.
Document laid on the floor
The Aircraft Accident and Serious Incident Regulations, 2019, (LI. 2375) was laid before Parliament on Thursday, February 14, 2019 in accordance with Article 11(7) of the Constitution.
Pursuant to Orders 77 and 166 of the Standing Orders of Parliament, the Speaker of Parliament,  Professor Mike Oquaye, referred the Legislative Instrument to the Committee on Subsidiary Legislation for consideration and report.
Reference documents for the Committee during its deliberations are the 1992 Constitution, the Standing Orders of Parliament, the Ghana Civil Aviation Act, 2004 (Act 678) and the Ghana Civil Aviation (Amendment) Act, 2016 (Act 906).
Committee meetings and attendees
The Committee met with the Minister of Aviation, Mr. Kofi Adda, the Aviation Deputy Minister, Mr. Kwabena Okyere Derko-Mensah and officials of both the Ministry of Aviation and the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority.
Upon the invitation of the Committee, the leadership of the Committee on Roads and Transport, and officials of the Legislative Drafting Division of the Office of the Attorney General and Ministry of Justice, were in attendance to assist the Committee in its deliberations.
Committee deliberations and outcomes
The Committee observed that the regulations apply to the investigation following accidents or serious incidents involving civil aircraft that occur within the Accra Flight Information Region (AFIR).
The objective of investigating an accident or serious incident is for the determination of the causes of the accident or serious incident, and the prevention of similar accidents or serious incidents in the future, and not to apportion blame or liability.
The Committee also observed that where an accident or serious incident occurs in Ghana, or within the Accra Flight Information Region, or the accident occurs outside Ghana but involves a Ghanaian registered aircraft, the police, the Director-General, or the Minister responsible for Aviation must immediately be notified of the accident or serious incident.
The Aviation Minister is mandated to order an independent investigation into the accident.
The investigation team must comprise an aeronautical engineer, a pilot, an Aviation Medical Examiner, an Air Traffic Service personnel and a Legal Officer with practising experience and a good insight of civil aviation or airline management.
The Minister is enjoined to provide unrestricted, unlimited and uninterrupted access to aircraft wreckage, aerodrones, facilities and any other documents the team may require.
The Minister may appoint or designate a qualified person as an investigator-in-charge of the accident or serious incident.
The Committee again observed that during the investigation into the cause of an accident or serious incident, reasonable steps should be taken to protect the evidence and, to maintain safe custody of the aircraft and the contents of the aircraft for the period as may be necessary, for the purposes of the investigation.
Safe custody of the aircraft includes protection against further damage, non-access to unauthorised persons, protection against pilfering and deterioration.
When the investigation is completed, the investigator-in-charge shall directly submit a report to the Minister, stating the relevant facts with regard to the accident and the conclusion of the investigation with regard to the causes of the accident or serious incident, together with the observations and recommendations.
Where new and important evidence is discovered later, the Minister could initiate a fresh investigation either generally or in part.
An investigation could also be reopened where an aircraft which was considered missing, following an official search is subsequently located.
An investigation that is re-opened may be conducted by the same investigator-in-charge at the time of the earlier investigation or by another investigator appointed by the Minister.
In order to undertake preventive actions on accidents or serious incidents, the Ministry is required to establish a mandatory incident reporting system to facilitate the collection of any relevant information.
The Ministry is also required to establish and maintain an accident and serious incident database, to facilitate the effective analysis of information on actual or potential safety deficiencies, and to determine any preventive actions required.
The Committee finally observed that where an accident or serious incident occurs to a Ghanaian-registered aircraft in the territory of a non-contracting state, and that country does not intend to conduct an investigation, either the Minister responsible for Aviation, the State of Operator, the State of Design or the State of Manufacture is authorised to institute and conduct an investigation in co-operation with the State where the accident occurred.
In the event of lack of co-operation among the aforementioned entities, the Minister for Aviation is mandated to ensure the conduct of an investigation with the available information.
Source: GhanaJustice/S.Ayisi


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here