Government is on course with its plan to reconfigure all planned activities of the Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL) and the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) into a broad roadmap that will guide transformation of the aviation sector, Joseph Kofi Adda, the sector minister, has said.
The roadmap, he said, will merge the technical know-how and expertise of the latter and management services function of the former as part of efforts to reposition Ghana as the West African sub-region’s aviation hub.
“An aviation masterplan is being worked on; everything from operational to maintenance to delivery of up-class aviation services will be looked at from the medium- to long-term points of view.
“Essentially, what we are looking to do is to make this a sector that contributes more than it has been doing in the past in terms of its contribution to GDP,” he told journalists after a tour of the newly-built Terminal 3 at the Kotoka International Airport.
He added: “Typically, the aviation sector is a well-structured technical field. The GCAA has the technical requirements and expertise because of its global affiliations; and when it comes to the management services side, the GACL also has their plans. But we want to bring them all together.”
According to the aviation minister, his vision for the sector is to put together ideas that have been on the table from the GACL and GCAA to help push government’s aim of propelling the industry to outperform competition from sister airports within the sub-region.
He said: “We want to be the top aviation sector in the sub-region by being able to maintain our lead in terms of civil aviation. The professionalism and efficiency coming from managers of the airports must come into play and get people speaking well of the country.
“Tourism is closely linked to this; we must regularly look at how to rearrange all the tools and operational systems to make sure they are in tune with global practices and standards, and that they are also competitive.”
Managing Director of the Ghana Airports Company Limited, John Attafuah, hinted that the newly-constructed Terminal 3 will become fully operational on September 15 – ahead of its official inauguration by President Akufo-Addo on October 2.
According to him, the project which cost US$275million, is ready for use after being tested in about 36 simulations.
“We have had about 36 simulations so far, and so for us it’s like second nature now. Last Monday we started live flights from this airport: we had four flights on Monday, four airlines used here. But Emirates for example came in, went to Abidjan, and came back in.
“So, that’s what we have and today. We have had our first arrivals to this terminal and, so far, all our systems have worked as we expected; and we are very confident that come the 15th of September, we will not have any problems or challenges,” Mr. Attafuah noted
With the coming onstream of Terminal 3, Mr. Adda said Terminal 2 will now be used for domestic flights.