Kumasi airport redevelopment economic prudence

The upgrade of the Kumasi airport into an internation­al facility and its renam­ing as Prempeh I International Airport have messages to engage the attention of the public.

Even though five countries in the world, namely Monaco, San Marino, Andorra, Liechten­stein, and The Vatican, do not have airports because of lack of space, those which have the space should have more for various reasons.

Thus, for example, the United States have 13,513 airports out of which 102 are international, Rus­sia over 2000 with 67 as interna­tional and Indonesia 673 with 23 of them being international.

Generally, both domestic and international airports facilitate the swift movement of goods, con­necting businesses with suppliers and customers.

They are also said to enable perishable products and time-sen­sitive cargo to reach distant markets quickly.

But in particular, internation­al airports facilitate that swift movement across countries and continents, thereby supporting global supply chains and boosting the export potential of countries.

Though international airports have domestic facilities attached to them, they are usually larger than the domestic ones as they feature longer runways and other facilities to accommodate heavier aircraft such as the Boeing 747 and Airbus A380 commonly used for international and interconti­nental travels.

This was the same idea behind the upgrade of the Kumasi air­port, when in June 2018, Presi­dent Akufo-Addo cut the sod for the commencement of the phase two of the project.

Now the facility has a 2,300-metre runway to accom­modate Boeing 737-800 series aircraft.

We think that the Kumasi air­port, now named Prempeh I In­ternational Airport, would make international travel easier for people from the Ashanti, Ahafo, Bono and Bono East, Northern, Savanna, Upper East and Upper West regions.

It will save them money, time and all the hassles involved in coming to Accra to catch flights abroad or land first in Accra on their return from their travels.

For those going to Kumasi, for instance, things will be easiest.

The new international airport will certainly boost the Ashanti regional economy, which the country can leverage for its progress.

Some businesses can open branches at Kumasi and nearby communities and new ones can crop up.

The cost of land close to the airport will appreciate.

We can also say beautiful edific­es would spring up around.

We, therefore, appeal to the government to speed up the process to tackle the phase 3 of the redevelopment of the airport for more benefits to be derived from it.

Above all, we hope the airport would be maintained regularly and also upgraded when the need arises.

Now regarding the renam­ing of the airport, Prempeh I, we think President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said it all (see story on page 8) and so we will not belabour the point.

However, there is a lesson we want every leader, elected or tradi­tional, to note.

Otumfuo Osei Tutu II is said to have played pivotal role in the redevelopment of the Kumasi airport, yet he did not fight for it to be named after him.

The Otumfuo has demonstrat­ed real selflessness which our leaders need; he has given honour to whom it is due.

We commend him for this and recommend this spirit to politi­cians, even if the honour is due their opponents.

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