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Transport minister lauds Ghana's aviation industry role in the construction of Prempeh I International Airport


13 days ago
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Minister of Transport, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, has stated that the inauguration of Prempeh I International Airport presents a unique opportunity for Ghana to harness the benefits associated with tourism to drive socioeconomic growth and development.

He emphasized that the facility is proof that Ghana's aviation industry is displaying resilience and consistent growth as a result of the government's continued support for the sector.

"Both domestic and international passenger numbers have shown strong growth potential, with domestic passenger numbers exceeding pre-COVID-19 conditions by 23.4% as of the year-end 2023. This is indeed a historic performance that underscores the strong government support that our air transport sector enjoys.

"This airport will ultimately serve as the gateway driving economic development, strengthening international relationships, and inspiring all who come into contact with it."

The Transport Minister made this known while speaking at the inauguration of the Prempeh I International Airport in Kumasi, where he also recounted the approach adopted towards the construction of the airport.

He shared that a phased development approach was adopted to ensure passenger safety and comfort while ensuring Ghana had a fully functioning international airport.

This, he said included the rehabilitation of the runway and the installation of airfield lights and aeronautical ground lights to facilitate nighttime operations at the airport.

"As the government works to create a vibrant aviation industry, it is also important that we take steps to urgently address crippling challenges, including encroachment on airport lands. This issue threatens future expansion if not immediately addressed," Ofori Asiamah noted.

The minister also used the occasion to urge the Ghana Airports Company Limited and the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority to collaborate closely with the Lands Commission to properly secure and protect airport lands.

"It is also crucial that the operation of the airport complies with ICAO standards and recommended practices. We must do all we can to ensure that the investment that has gone into this project does not go to waste for the good people of this country," he added.

The Transport Minister reiterated that the government will continue to pursue strategies to make Ghana the aviation hub within the West African Region and beyond.

The Prempeh I International Airport Expansion Project was divided into three phases.

Phase 1, completed in 2014, involved the rehabilitation of the runway and the installation of Aeronautical Ground Lighting, allowing domestic airlines to operate at night.

Phase 2 began in 2018 and included the construction of a new international terminal with a capacity of 800,000 passengers per year, a new apron and taxi link, an access road to the airport, a car park, perimeter and security fence walls, an electricity substation, and Bulk Utility Services.

Phase 3 will involve extending the runway from 1,981m to 2,320m, currently in progress and expected to be finished by September this year. Additional taxi links and parking stands will also be completed in Phase 3.

source: Theannouncergh.com