Government urged to fast-track establishment of local airline
The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT), Ghana, has called on the government to fast-track the establishment of a base carrier and a local airline to fill the capacities in the various terminals at the airport.
According to the President of CILT Ghana, Mr Ebo Hammond, the establishment of a national carrier would help boost international tourism to the country.
“These base carriers and local airlines could help to effectively utilise terminal infrastructure to help boost regional and international connectivity and trade,” he said.
Mr Hammond was speaking after he led some executives, members and students of the institute on a tour to the Swissport Ghana facilities at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) Cargo Centre.
The Country Manager, Swissport Ghana, Mr Chris Goodsir, conducted the team round the various facilities managed by the company.
Areas visited by the group included the cold room, bullion vault, scale and imports section where modern equipment that enhanced port operations had been installed.
Mr Hammond was accompanied by the Chairperson of Women in Logistics and Transport (WiLAT) Ghana, Dr Doreen Owusu-Fianko.
International flight traffic
Mr Hammond indicated that the annual average of international flight traffic was 24,508, while the average international passenger throughput was 1, 34721 with its attendant average domestic passenger throughput of 14,884 and an average freight tonnage of 49,488 in the last five years.
Commenting on the newly completed terminal three at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA), he said the airport’s capacity for passenger throughput would be increased by about five million.
But that could not be achieved if the Ghana Airport Company Limited (GACL) failed to be innovative and embark on aggressive marketing campaigns to attract new airlines and increase existing flight frequency to the country.
“This expansion should support the country’s ambition to transform its international airport into a gateway for at least the West Africa sub region and serve as a sub-regional aviation hub and contribute to the country’s economy by facilitating market connectivity and reducing the cost of doing business,” he said.
Briefing the media after a tour of the various installations, Mr Hammond said he was impressed with the high level of professionalism exhibited by staff of the company.
He also called on the management of Swissport to join CILT Ghana as a corporate member because of the opportunities that existed for the company.
Dr Owusu-Fianko also expressed satisfaction with the operations of the company, noting that Swissport had become a model in logistics handling in the sub-region, and that its work would boost trade in Ghana.
For his part, Mr Goodsir said the new terminal would open doors for the expansion of airlines to Ghana because it was built to international standards.
According to him, Swissport thrived on its core values of people, professionalism and partnership.
Even though he admitted that the company encountered challenges such as delay in export documentation, it was always doing its best to overcome them.