Ghanaian President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo cut the sod for the construction of the Phase Two of the $70 million Tamale International Airport yesterday in the Northern Region.
According to the President, the project is being funded by a United Kingdom Export Finance (UKEF) facility with support from KFW IPEC-Bank and expected to be completed in 30 months from the day of commencement.
The President observed that the expansion of the Tamale International Airport project is a critical part of government’s vision to expand the aviation industry in the country and to realize the dream of making Ghana an aviation hub in West Africa.
Touching on the impetus the expansion project would bring, the President said the terminal building and the multipurpose Hajj facility would increase economic and trading activities and reinforce the status of Tamale as a sub-Saharan hub for flights to and from neighbouring West African countries.
He said the terminal would comprise VVIP & VIP lounges , three boarding gates, four self-service check-in kiosks, 12 check-in desks, operational offices, airline offices, administration offices, baby care, commercial/rental area and underground water tank.
The Hajj terminal would be served by a single carriageway access road and external works, landside and airside infrastructure adapted to the terminal size, with water, power and sewerage infrastructure deemed necessary for normal operations; apron extension and construction of link taxiway for MRO/proposed cargo operations and road network and external works, the President said.
He said funding for this project had already been secured and all conditions precedent for payment to the contractors as stipulated in the contract executed.
“I, therefore, entreat the contractors to strive to deliver the project on schedule to avoid any cost overruns” he said adding that “government is committed to giving the domestic aviation industry the needed support to enable it thrive and compete fairly with other actors outside the country. The removal of the 7.5% VAT on domestic airfares in the first year of my administration which has doubled domestic traffic is ample evidence of our commitment to facilitate growth of the industry.”
The Ministry of Aviation he announced “has made progress for the establishment of a Home-Based Carrier with private sector participation and processes are ongoing to ensure its realization.”
Aviation Minister Joseph Kofi Adda said Ghana had experienced overall growth in air passenger traffic on domestic and international routes and the Kotoka International Airport in Accra now handles about 2.5 million passengers.
He said the government’s policy on the removal of 17.5% VAT on domestic airfares has had a significant impact on this direction.
From Eric Kombat, Tamale