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PICTURES: Prempeh I International Airport operation going on smoothly – GACL MD

Local News

9 days ago
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The Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL) officially began operations at the new Prempeh I International Airport in Kumasi on July 1, 2024.

During a press briefing held on July 1, 2024, the Managing Director of GACL, Yvonne Nana Afriyie Opare, expressed her satisfaction with the 'smooth operationalization' of the airport.

"I'm happy that today we've been able to operationalize and everything has gone smoothly, including luggage checks, etc.," Mrs Opare said.

She emphasized that all passengers traveling to and from Accra will now be using the airport facility.

Despite the successful launch, Yvonne Opare noted that the taxi lane, which is the runway that allows planes to travel and park closer to the terminal, is not yet ready.

As a temporary measure, a bus service has been provided to transport passengers from an alternative road to the airport.

"For now, our taxi lane is not ready, so we provided another road for the bus to use. When passengers disembark, they will board the bus, then travel on the road, and the bus will bring them to the airport because we couldn't wait for the taxi lane to be ready when the airport is beautiful and just empty. We have to start using it in whatever way possible," she explained.

The GACL Managing Director also announced plans for international flights to commence after September, following the completion of the taxi lane.

She added that discussions are currently underway with several airlines to facilitate this expansion.

"For international flights, we're looking at after September because we have to finish the taxi lane. But we've engaged airlines, and we are currently in discussions with several of them," she said.

Additionally, the airport will undergo further development to extend the runway, allowing larger, wide-body aircraft to land.

"After we finish the taxi lane, we are going to expand the runway for bigger aircraft to be able to land. Right now, the runway isn't long enough for certain types of aircraft (wide-body aircraft)," she added.

She further mentioned that the airport, while still utilizing the functional radar system, has a new tower equipped with a state-of-the-art radar system.

The Prempeh I International Airport in Kumasi, was officially commissioned on May 10, 2024, by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, with the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, playing a significant role in the ceremony.

The upgrade from a domestic to an international airport is set to eliminate the need for residents of the Ashanti Region and the northern part of Ghana to travel to Accra for international flights.

The project, which began in May 2018, included the construction of a new terminal, lounges, and other facilities at a cost of 66 million Euros.

However, financial constraints delayed the final phase, which includes runway extension and other enhancements, costing an additional 58 million Euros.

Despite the delays, the airport is now operational for domestic and international flights, with a capacity of 800,000 passengers annually and 200 passengers per hour.

The President emphasized the airport's significance for economic ties, trade, tourism, and cultural exchange.

The Juabenhene, Nana Otuo Siribuor II, representing the Asantehene, praised the President for fulfilling his promise to the region.