Ghana to establish home based carrier

President Akufo-Addo presenting the sword of honour to Yaw Brobbey Kyerematen

President Akufo-Addo presenting the sword of honour to Yaw Brobbey Kyerematen

Government has given policy approval for the establishment of a home-based air carrier, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said.

 

The carrier, which will be established with private sector support, will connect countries and cities, with Ghana as transit point.

 

President Akufo-Addo said the decision to establish a home-based carrier formed part of the efforts to fulfill government’s vision of making the Kotoka International Airport an aviation hub.

 

The President was speaking at the first Aerospace and Aviation Exhibition for Africa at the Kotoka International Airport in Accra yesterday.

 

The exhibition, dubbed the ‘African Air Show’, brought together, professionals, experts, and industry players from across the world to showcase businesses, commercial, and defence aircrafts.

 

It also created the platform to the world of aviation to the African.

 

President Akufo-Addo said the vision of the government was to establish Ghana both as an aviation hub within West Africa, and as the preferred destination of choice for travellers.

 

“Government hopes to achieve this by working with the private sector to offer modern, attractive air transport infrastructure, and by building capacity and establishing institutional and policy framework to enhance safety and security of air services,” he said.

 

Justifying the re-creation of the Aviation Ministry, President Akufo-Addo said the move would not only help develop the aviation industry but also make it highly competitive within the West African region.

 

He mentioned some ongoing and upcoming projects such as the construction of the Terminal 3 of KIA to accommodate five million passengers and the Phase II of both Kumasi and Tamale airports.

 

Additionally, he said a modern Air Navigation Service Centre would be constructed to ensure safety and security of aircraft and passengers in Ghana’s airspace.

 

“The need for these investments in infrastructure and air navigation systems is to respond to anticipated traffic growth and also to keep up with the dynamism in technology that the aviation industry demands.

 

“It is worth mentioning that the record upsurge in the number of airlines and passengers, both domestically and internationally, has contributed significantly to the Ghanaian economy.

 

“These achievements did not happen overnight, but for the effort of the Ministry of Aviation and its agencies, namely Ghana Airports Company Limited, Ghana Civil Aviation Authority, and other stakeholders in the aviation industry,” he said.

 

President Akufo-Addo said the government had fulfilled its promise to remove the 17.5per cent Value Added Tax (VAT) on domestic air fares to make domestic travel affordable.

 

Since the removal of the VAT, he said patronage for domestic airlines had increased significantly from 302,270 as at September, 2016 to 373,429 as at September, 2017, representing a 23.5 per cent increase.

 

“Additionally, the number of international airlines operating in the country has increased from 35 to 37 this year.

 

“I want to appeal to other Ghanaians, both home and abroad, to invest in the rapidly growing aviation sector,” he said.

 

President Akufo-Addo expressed the government’s commitment to encourage and support local airlines and entrepreneurs to set up strong private airlines that could fully utilise all the country’s route rights.

 

He urged the organisers of the air show to use the programme to create opportunities for aircraft fleet modernisation, aviation investment opportunities, aircraft financing, and networking so as to ensure the continuous growth of the air transport business across the continent.

By Yaw Kyei

 

 

 

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