President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is expected to cut the sod for commencement of the Tamale airport runway’s second phase by March, to elevate it to International Airport status.
The Minister for Aviation, Joseph Kofi Adda, announced this on Saturday when he led a delegation of staff from the Aviation Ministry, the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority and Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL) on a tour of the Tamale airport as part of his working visit to the Northern Region on Saturday.
It was also to inspect the state of the project’s phase-one, as well assess the site where phase-two of the project will take place for the final design and recommendation before commencement.
The US$80million project loan agreement between the government of Ghana and KFW IPEX-Bank GMBH, which expected to start by April 2019, will include Maintenance, Repairs, Overhauling and safety (MRO) to provide aircraft maintenance activities in Ghana and West Africa, an aviation training-school, and other facilities that will make travelling easy for passengers.
The facilities are to be operated by Kenpong Aircraft Maintenance Ghana Limited (KAMGL), a subsidiary of the Kenpong Group of Companies – which has secured the MRO licence and a hangar at the Tamale Airport, with the project implemented by the Ghana Airport Company Limited (GACL).
The terminal project is expected to take two years but the Minister appealed to the contractors to consider making it 18 months.
The Tamale airport is proposed to be an alternative to the Kotoka international airport when completed, and is expected to harbour a cabin, hajj village, maintenance hub for aircraft services, cargo section and other facilities that will make it the second international airport in Ghana.
The minister, who was accompanied by officials from the KFW IPEX Bank led by Uwe Mueller-Director of infrastructure, said the Finance Ministry will soon disburse funds for the project to start and enhance socio-economic activities in the North.
According the minister, phase-two of the project will comprise a terminal that will cater for passenger travel processes and services, as well as hosting a cargo village and other facilities which will enhance its status.
He noted that construction of the hajj village in Tamale will ensure the yearly pilgrimage to Mecca will take place in the North to airlift pilgrims directly to the Holy land.
Ing. Yaw Appiah-Danquah, Director, Airports Planning and Projects-GACL, said the project aims at ensuring the airport meets international standards to accommodate bigger flights.
“We are committed also to ensuring that Tamale airport has similar facilities to Kotoka Accra to ease the stress travellers and investors go through with their businesses,” he said.
He noted that Tamale is noted as the country’s food-basket, hence the need for an initiative to transport food and other products to the national capital as well other countries.
He appealed to the people of Dagbon and its surroundings to collaborate with government to embark on the project and boost business activities in the region.