President Akufo-Addo outlines priority projects for Aviation Sector

Ghana Civil Aviation Authority Office Complex 696x460 An establishment of a home-based carrier is crucial to the country’s quest to become an aviation hub

Thu, 11 Mar 2021 Source: aviationghana.com

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has outlined four priority aviation projects that his government intends to complete in his second term.

Delivering the first State of the Nation Address (SONA) of his second four-year term to the 275-member Parliament in Accra on Tuesday, he mentioned the establishment of a new home-based airline, completion of the second and third phases of the Kumasi Airport, and the completion of the second phase of Tamale Airport, and the construction of an airport to serve the Western and Central regions.

“Mr. Speaker, Cabinet has granted policy approval for the establishment of a National Flag Carrier (Home Based Airline) with strategic partner participation. The House will be duly informed on developments in this area,” President Akufo-Addo said.

The establishment of a home-based carrier is seen as crucial to the country’s quest to become an aviation hub in the sub-region. The Ministry of Aviation late last year, chose EgyptAir as the strategic partner ahead of other airlines and investors that submitted proposals to partner government

The Cairo-based airline’s proposal, after careful scrutiny by the committee of aviation experts constituted by the Ministry of Aviation, was seen as ‘much better’ than what was proposed by other airlines and investors.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was subsequently signed by the two parties. A shareholders agreement has also been agreed but yet to be signed. AviationGhana can confirm that Cabinet is perusing the documents and will soon announce its final decision.

Kumasi Airport

President Akufo-Addo, delivering his address, also stated that: “Construction of the second and third phases of the Kumasi Airport, second phase of Tamale Airport, and rehabilitation of the Sunyani airport, are all proceeding satisfactorily.”

The Kumasi Airport project, valued at about US$300 million, comprises the extension of the runway from 1,981m to 2,300m that can accommodate Boeing 737-800 series aircraft, construction of a new two-story ultra-modern terminal, construction of additional aprons, restaurants, shopping and parking areas, and a ring road around the airport.

It’s expected that the new terminal will have the capacity to handle one million passengers per annum. The expansion project is part of the multi-modal transportation system being developed by the government to enhance tourism in the Ashanti Region.

Kumasi, the Ashanti regional capital, is the busiest domestic destination and it is served by both PassionAir and Africa World Airlines (AWA). Ghana Airports Company Limited data show that in 2019, a total of 16,499 people travelled by air between the two cities. A recent visit by AviationGhana shows that the new terminal building is nearing completion.

Tamale Airport

The second phase of the upgrading of the Tamale Airport, which is the second busiest domestic destination, is also one of the priority projects for the Akufo-Addo administration.

Phase II of the project is expected to cost some US$70 million. The phase one of the redevelopment project of the airport was completed in 2016, and KfW IPEX-Bank GmH has agreed to finance the phase II.

The commercial contract for the design and execution of the works between the Government and QG Construction Limited, a United Kingdom (UK)-based construction firm with local presence.

When completed, the project will support the programmes of the Northern Development Authority, Hajj flights, and serve the Sahel Region.

Sunyani Airport

The Sunyani Airport on the other hand, has been out of use for some time now due to defects on the runway of the facility. The Kofi Adda-led Aviation Ministry, working with the airports operator, Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL), started the rehabilitation project last year to make it possible for airlines to service the airport. The terminal building of the facility is also being expanded to accommodate modern x-ray security screening equipment.

Cape Coast Airport

Feasibility studies have been completed and funding for the construction of an airport in Ankaful to serve the Central Region– a major tourism hub- has already been secured by the Kofi Adda-led Aviation Ministry.

The airport and other ancillary facilities, which is to be sited on a 600-acre land at Ankaful, is expected to cost about US$50million to construct.

The Central Region, which is a major tourism destination in the country, given its rich history and UNESCO World Heritage castles sited along the coast, is only accessible to tourists by road.

Connecting with the regional capital, Cape Coast, from Accra is hampered by heavy vehicular traffic. It takes about two (2) hours to connect from Accra on a typical weekend when many people usually travel for tourism and social events.

Cape Coast played a crucial role in the success of the Year of Return held in Ghana last year. Indeed a total of US$1.9 billion was generated into the economy through activities related to the “Year of Return.” The programme also brought about an increase of over 200,000 in total arrivals into the country.

Source: aviationghana.com
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