Tamale Airport Expansion Begins

viewWork on the $100-million upgrading and expansion of the Tamale Airport into an international airport, commenced at the Northern Regional capital yesterday, following the sod-cutting by President John Mahama.

The first phase of the project, to be completed in September next year, consists of the extension of the runway from the current 2,48 metres to about 4,000 metres to accommodate bigger aircraft, and the installation of lighting systems to facilitate take-off and landing at night time at the airport.

Being undertaken by the Brazilian firm, Queiroz Galvao, the project will also involve the construction of additional aprons, construction of perimeter road and security fence.

Upon its completion, the Tamale Airport will serve as an alternative to the Kotoka International Airport, handle international operations, including the seasonal Hajj pilgrimage flights between Ghana and Mecca, while supporting the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) in the export of perishable goods, especially fruits and vegetables, to Europe.

Performing the sod-cutting, President Mahama dismissed the pessimists’ view that plans to establish a new national airline would also be mired in wastage, as happened to the Ghana Airways and the Ghana International Airlines.

He pointed out that the envisaged national airline would be managed on a public-private partnership basis.

He reiterated plans by the government to build a new international airport at Ningo/Prampram also on a public-private partnership basis, while undertaking the rapid expansion of the existing airports.

The President also indicated that a new terminal would be built at the Wa Airstrip, while a new civilian terminal would be constructed at the Takoradi Airport to ease pressure on the Air Force Base terminal.

Additionally, he reiterated the government’s determination to bring to fruition, the four mini airport/ aerodrome projects at Ho, Cape Coast, Wa and Bolgatanga.

President Mahama noted that aviation was expanding rapidly in Ghana, and there was the need to expand infrastructure to accommodate the growing air traffic.

He said the KIA alone handled more than two million passengers a year, while Kumasi Airport handled about 400,000 passengers, and the Tamale Airport about 200 passengers.

Ms. Dzifa Attivor, Minister of Transport, on her part, challenged the youth of the Northern Region to take advantage of the economic benefits that the upgrade of the Tamale airport would bring.
“The North will become the centre of attraction for many businesses for transformation,” she stated.

Mr. Charles Asare, acting Managing Director of the Ghana Airports Company Limited, lauded the government for supporting the company to enhance existing airports, noting that it would raise Ghana’s image as a prime investment destination.

From Samuel Nuamah & Yakubu Abdul-Majeed, Tamale.

 

 

 

 

 

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