The president broke ground this week for commencement of the second phase of the Kumasi international airport project, and he re-emphasised the fact that the expansion will give Kumasi the much-needed impetus to hold its own as an important commercial city in West Africa.
Kumasi has always been considered as the second-most important city in Ghana after Accra, the national capital; and this status will be reinforced with the current expansion taking place at its airport.
The president was hopeful that the project will be completed on schedule, since funding for the project has been secured and there is no hindrance to cause delays which inevitably create cost overruns.
Phase-two will see an extension of the runway from the current 1981 metres to 2,300 metres, which will enable the airport to handle large aircraft that require an extended runway to taxi. Additionally, upon completion the new terminal will be able to handle around a million passengers per annum.
This means there will be more traffic at Kumasi, and according to the sector minister, Cecelia Dapaah, efforts will be made to ensure that some domestic and regional airlines operating in the country make their hub in Kumasi.
In terms of general commerce and business meetings, the extension of Kumasi airport will greatly enhance easy movement of persons and goods in real time, and that is important for businesses. Kumasi is also home to West Africa’s biggest open-air market and has a sprawling population from every nook and cranny of the country, making it very cosmopolitan in nature.
Secondly, for tourism purposes the airport will surely attract more visitors simply because of the rich history of Kumasi, its tradition and people. Therefore, the expansion opens up Kumasi to tremendous opportunities that will go to enhance the prosperity of the city and make it a destination of importance.
The second phase is estimated to cost €66.4million and will promote Kumasi as the main commercial city that links southern to northern Ghana. Indeed, its completion will firmly place the country as an important aviation hub in the West Africa sub-region and endorse the perception that Ghana is the gateway to Africa through the west.
In saying this, commendation also goes to the Asantehene for releasing land for the expansion works to take off, which will bring glory to his kingdom.