Hundreds of pilots with the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) have left the country for opportunities outside over non-availability of national aircraft.

Pilots trained by the Ghana Air forces but without any jet to fly have to leave the forces for elsewhere they could practice their profession.

Vice Chairman of the Defence and Interior Committee of Parliament, Hon Ophelia Mensah Hayford raised the concern during debate to approve the Ministry of Defence 2024 Budget Estimate.

She noted that, even though the country spent a lot of resources in training pilots for the armed forces, the pilots are compelled to leave the air force to other countries and the private sector due to no or less flying time as a result of the non-existence of logistics especially aircraft to fly.

Within the aviation sector, pilot’s professional competency are assessed based on the flight time, number of flights in terms of mileage in other to remain relevant.

First-officer pilots must hold either an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate requiring 1,500 flight hours, or a Restricted-ATP (R-ATP) certificate, which allows for reduced flight time requirements for those with approved military or collegiate training.

Per available data, Ghana spent averagely $200,000 in training a single pilot for the Ghana Air-force.

This, Ophelia Mensah explained, has pushed the Ghanaian pilots who are competent but without available jet to fly to seek airlines outside the country.

The Vice chairperson who is also the Member of Parliament for Mfantseman Constituency in the Central Region has thus urged the need for the country to acquire more aircraft for the Ghana armed forces, including an executive jet for the use of the president.

She stressed that aircraft including fighter jets and helicopters are needed for rescue and defence purposes and for the air combat capability of the air-force and to strengthen the surveillance of the country’s air-space, especially in the wake of terrorism in the West African sub-region.

Hon Ophelia Mensah said the current jet at the disposal of the president of the republic for official trips belongs to the Ghana Armed Forces, hence the need for an executive jet.

In her considered view, this would enable the air force to have unrestrained access to the aircraft for critical operations in the midst of the few.




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