The home-based airline project being championed by government is scheduled to take off in October this year.
Minister of Aviation, Joseph Kofi Adda, said, negotiations and terms of agreements with the private partners was close to completion, stating that the final details including Cabinet approval would be attended to within the next few weeks.
“This is a business deal and so everybody wants to get the best out of it. I am happy to report that we have been able to negotiate the major issues that must be addressed. We cannot guarantee a take-off date and we have cleared most of the hurdles in negotiations and we are near where we will have to sign. We have to keep pulling and pushing until the last day. Once government approves it, we will sign the agreement and make a pronouncement,” he stated.
Addressing the sector’s mid-year performance review conference in Accra yesterday, he said, participating stakeholders in the home-based carrier were coming on board with expertise, professionalism and well-grounded experience that would add value to the airline and promote socioeconomic growth.
Organised to review the Ministry’s activities and corresponding successes in the implementation of programmes and projects, the conference was on the theme, ‘The role of aviation in boosting economic growth in the era of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).’
On the sustainability of the home-based carrier, Mr Adda assured that the ministry has instituted mechanisms to prevent the management lapses which resulted in the collapse of the two previous national carriers from happening again.
With a burgeoning aviation sector, he stated that, the ministry was drawing up innovative means to attract the private sector to partner government in exploring various areas of the sector to create the needed jobs for Ghanaians.
He said that presently, international passenger traffic at the Terminal Three of the Kotoka International Airport was averaging between 8,000 and 9,000, which showed that the sector as well as demand for air transport was on the rise.
By the end of this year, passenger throughput for the year was estimated to meet three million, which he said, required private sector participation to drive the aviation industry’s growth.
“Public Private Partnerships (PPP) has the prospects to unlock access to private capital, bring about the needed innovation through improved technology, financial and operational framework for the creation of jobs and promote the exchange of expertise,” Mr Adda stated.
To further the objective, he said the ministry was in the process of reviewing the aviation policy and develop a master plan that would guide the systematic development of the sector.
Christiana Edmund, acting Chief Director of the Ministry, said the siting of the AfCFTA headquarters in Ghana provides an opportunity to capitalise on the socioeconomic advantages to make the country an aviation hub and a lead in the transport sector in Africa.
With the aviation hub on course, she said, it was imperative the ministry shapes its programmes and projects as well as assess the usefulness of the various methods employed to further spur realisation of intended objectives.
BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS