African Air Show 2017 in Accra – Operator Tips
This is a post by author Stanley Joseph. Stanley is general manager for Kilimanjaro Aviation Logistics Centre (KALC), a subsidiary of Universal Weather and Aviation, Inc. which is headquartered in Mwanza, Tanzania. Stanley is an expert on permits for the African region and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
West Africa’s top aerospace and aviation exhibition — African Air Show 2017 — takes place October 24-26 at Accra (DGAA). This is the largest exhibition in the region showcasing the latest in business commercial and defense aircraft, with 300 exhibitors and an estimated 15,000 trade attendees. Daily exhibition hall and static display hours will be 1000-1700 local at DGAA, just seven miles from the city center. The good news for attendees bringing general aviation (GA) aircraft is that parking, accommodation and local transport should not be an issue even for short notice or last minute attendees.
The following is an overview of what you need to know:
1. Primary airport
Primary airport for African Airshow 2017 is DGAA, a 24-hour airport of entry (AOE) with no airport slot or prior permission required (PPR) mandates. No operating curfews are anticipated for this period and no airport closures have been announced.
2. Airport alternates
Recommended airport alternates are Lagos (DNMM), Abidjan (DIAP) and Sao Tome (FPST) if you’re unable to secure parking at DGAA or choose not to park at this location. All three alternates are 24-hour AOEs with full GA support and no known restrictions/closures at this time.
3. Parking availability
While DGAA expects high traffic levels during the African Air Show period, no special parking restrictions have been issued. At this point we anticipate that parking will be in the normal GA-designated areas and will be available even for shorter notice requests. Should traffic movements pick up, and aircraft need to park outside normal GA-designated areas, local ground handlers will notify us.
4. CIQ clearance
GA passengers and crew clear customs, immigration, and quarantine (CIQ) at DGAA in the main terminal along with scheduled commercial passengers. Arrangements can be made to have CIQ processed in VIP facilities but this needs to be set up in advance. Your ground handler, upon request, will submit application to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs State Protocol Office for VIP clearance but approval is at their discretion. If special clearance has not been set up you’ll clear via the same process as commercial flights. Note that DGAA CIQ clearance takes longer than many operators may be accustomed to — perhaps 30-45 minutes — and all rules/procedures are strictly enforced.
Ghana mandates both overflight and landing permits for all private non-revenue and charter (non-scheduled commercial) flights. Lead time for Ghana landing permits is 5-7 business days with permit validity +/- 3 days. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) processes permits during normal Monday-Friday operating hours of 0800-1800 local. Note that permit requests are not processed on weekends or during holidays. For any landing permit request you’ll need to submit standard aircraft documentation, including airworthiness and registration certificates, noise certificate and worldwide insurance. Additionally, a valid local business contact must be provided with each permit request.
6. Compliance considerations
It’s important to be aware that accurate information must always be provided regarding your local business contact. CAA also needs to know your full schedule as well as who’ll be onboard. CAA views these requirements strictly and will deny your permit if they feel there may be any issues.
7. Permit revisions
Any change to an approved flight and schedule to DGAA requires a revision to be sent to CAA. Your permit number may or may not change, depending on the revision requested.
8. Domestic operations
Note that foreign-registered aircraft are not permitted to fly domestic legs within Ghana. For local in-country transport charter and commercial options are available.
9. Fuel considerations
Fuel uplifts for DGAA should be booked in advance, with a fuel release forwarded in your handler. Crews have the option of paying directly for fuel uplifts or having the handler settle charges, with prior arrangement, on their behalf
10. Hotels and local transport
Preferred crew accommodations may be difficult to secure in Accra during the African Air Show period, due to higher than normal demand. Expect hotel pricing to be higher with lack of availability at many properties. Some hotels will require full payment in advance and in certain cases these payments will be non-refundable. For local transport we recommend booking prepaid transport (car with driver) well in advance of arrival in order to secure best available options.
11. More information
For additional information on African Air Show 2017 see the official site.
For those planning to attend this year’s African Air Show operating procedures are straight-forward and no parking issues are expected at DGAA. But it’s important to allow yourself sufficient permit lead time, to arrange crew accommodations as soon as practical and to ensure that your named local business contact is aware of your operational details.
If you have any questions or would like assistance planning your next trip to Ghana, contact me at email@example.com.