Investment opportunities available in aviation sector -GACL

Mr John Dekyem Attafuah

Mr John Dekyem Attafuah

Investors should take advantage of the huge investment opportunities in the aviation industry in Ghana to expand and diversify their investment portfolios, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL), John Attafuah has said.

He said aside the investment opportunities  that exist for the creation of new routes to Ho and other parts of country,  the  completion of Ghana’s new airport, Kotoka International Airport (KIA) Terminal Three had opened further investment avenues in the aviation sector in Ghana.

Speaking at the opening of the 11th Routes Africa Conference in Accra, Mr Attafuah for instance said the KIA Terminal Three project had created an avenue for the establishment of a maintenance, repair and overhauling plant in Ghana.

The Routes Africa being organised by UBM and sponsored by the GACL is an annual programme which brings stakeholders in the aviation industry in Africa to showcase their products and discuss strategies and policy issues to improve air services and build a vibrant aviation industry in Africa.

Mr Attafuah further explained that the Terminal Three built at a cost of $270 million and has the capacity to handle five million passengers a year, also offered opportunity for the establishment of an aviation training school in the country.

He said the Terminal Three in the coming years would aid the GACL to double its revenue and also attract more airlines and bigger carriers into the country.

“After taking the participants of Routes Africa to a tour at the Terminal Three, we have the sense that the participants are impressed and are ready to further invest in Ghana,” Mr Attafuah said.

The CEO lauded the African heads of states for acceding to the 30-year old Yamousoukro Agreement, which among others, calls for the opening of the air skies of Africa to African member states.

He expressed the hope that the open skies agreement this time would be implemented to remove the restrictions from flying from one African country to the other.

Touching on the high taxes, levies and fees imposed on the aviation industry in Ghana, Mr Attafuah said the GACL had no control over taxes at the aviation sector.

According to him, the GACL had one of the competitive port airport charges in Africa.

The Director General of the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority, Simon Allotey entreated government to invest in the GACL to improve the facilities cost of air services to attract more air traffic to Ghana.

He said there was the need to strike a good balance between taxes and providing affordable air services at the port.

Mr Allotey cautioned that too much tax which would lead to the high cost of air ticket will drive tourists and visitors from using Ghana’s routes and low taxes would deny the GACL the needed revenue to expand and improve on infrastructure at the airport.

On the Africa Open Skies initiative, he said it would enhance competition and improve intra African flight.

Steven Small, Brands Director of UBM EMEA said Routes Africa recognised the importance of enhancing intra-Africa air connectivity to stimulate economic development across the African region.

The District Manager-Accra for Egypt Airlines, Ahmed El-Banhawy supported the idea for the reduction of taxes on the aviation industry, stressing it would help attract more traffic to Ghana.

By Kingsley Asare

 

 

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