Defence Minister, Dominic Bingab Aduna Nitiwul has confirmed that consultations were underway for the country to go ahead with plans to purchase a new Presidential Jet.
The Minister justified the decision of the Government to activate plans for the purchase of the new Presidential Jet and disclosed that the move was based purely on a request by the Ghana Air Force for a main wide-body jet to conduct Government business.
According to the Minister, the policy and strategy of the Ghana Air Force have been to maintain a minimum of two aircrafts, which consist of the main aircraft and supporting aircraft that are expected to undertake government business and revealed that the CASA 295 is not suitable for government business in view of its design and features making it a pure military aircraft.
The Defence Minister said, currently, the Ghana Air Force had the supporting aircraft, the Falcon 900 Executive Jet, but lacked the main wide-body aircraft for all Government Business in which absence the Air Force has been temporarily using the CASA 295 to fill in for the shortfalls and gaps created by non-availability of the specific aircraft designed for the task.
He said previously, the Air Force operated Fokker 28 Executive Jet as the main aircraft and Fokker 27 as the supporting aircraft until 2010 when both aircrafts were decommissioned.
Dominic Nitiwul who doubles as the MP for Bimbilla was responding to a question by the Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa on plans for the purchase of a new Presidential Jet as announced by Presidential Spokesman Eugene Arhin in September and the Government’s policy justification for the purchase.
He explained that the policy and strategy of the Ghana Air Force had been to maintain a minimum of two Fixed Wing Aircraft, consisting of a main wide-body aircraft and supporting aircraft that were required to undertake thorough and effective Government business.
The Bimbilla lawmaker told the lawmakers consultations with Parliament, trade unions and religious bodies are ongoing ahead of the purchase and furthered that he had contacted two manufacturers namely Boeing and Airbus and, who he said, will be able to deliver the Jet in about three years, if an order is placed now.
He however screamed His Excellency the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo will be an ex-President by the time the new Presidential Jet arrives and will not have the chance or luxury to sit in it if funds are made available by Government for the purchase of one.