The Ghana Airforce has received $28,000 worth of operational safety and visibility equipment support from Gold Fields Ghana Limited.
The equipment, a special-purpose Case-Tractor, is meant to clear the runway at the Takoradi Airforce Base from weeds and other impediments that could hinder flight operations.
Receiving the equipment on behalf of the Ghana Airforce, Base Commander Air Commodore Godfried Sackey Parker said ensuring flight visibility at the Airforce Base is key to their operations, but has become very expensive.
He thanked Gold Fields for coming to their aid to ensure safety.
“It is to assist us in maintaining the excellence of our runway through effective weed control, thereby enhancing the safety of the Air Force Base runaway, which services both military and civil operations. Upon assumption of office, the issue of maintaining safety around the base was my priority and one of such was the runway. We all know how important the shoulders of the runway is.”
“By international standards, the weeds should be at a particular level. We took a decision not to use manual means to clear the weeds, but our second option was to rent a case tractor. We realized it was not sustainable renting the case tractor because we paid so much money for just three days of rent and the tractor wouldn’t even do any good job for us. So this gift by Gold Fields is a big assistance not to Takoradi Airforce Base alone but the Ghana Airforce”, he said.
Air Commodore Parker said the tractor would help to reduce the cost of clearing the runway, which had been a major challenge for the Airforce.
“The Gold Fields support is ensuring the safety of our runway. The significance of this presentation goes beyond just the transfer of tractor but symbolizes a partnership founded on shared objective and joint commitment, safety and operational efficiency of the base. This support by Gold Fields Ghana is a recognition of our vital role in safeguarding the country,” he added.
On his part, the Relieving General Manager of Gold Fields Tarkwa Mines, Elliot Twum, who handed over the $28,000 Case-Tractor to the Takoradi Airforce Base Commander said the presentation emphasizes the premium Gold Fields places on safety and support to its community.
“At Gold Fields, safety is our number one value and if we cannot mine safely, we will not mine. We extend this to the communities we operate in and ensure all our stakeholders understand and benefit from the commitment we make to this number one value. That is why we believe providing this important equipment to the Takoradi airport, and indeed the Airforce base will go a long way to ensure flight safety for everyone who uses this facility. Almost every day our employees, visitors, and other key stakeholders use this airport as they travel to our mine sites at Tarkwa and Damang,“ he noted.
He added that Gold Fields Ghana Foundation through its shared value objectives has since 2004 invested over US$96m in socioeconomic development programmes and projects, focusing on education, health, water and sanitation, agriculture and infrastructure to its host communities.