Construction work on the Tamale International Airport runway project’s second phase, aimed at ensuring the airport meets international standards to accommodate bigger flights, is progressing steadily and is about 26 percent complete.
The 5,170 metre-square project, proposed to be an alternative to the Kotoka International Airport when completed, is currently at the footings, soft and hardware stage, and being executed by QGMI, a Brazilian construction firm.
The project is expected to be completed within 26 months, but had delayed due to the outbreak of COVID-19 and lockdown of the borders making it difficult for the equipment and materials to be transported from nearby countries to the site for the project, but it is set to be completed in the first quarter of 2022.
The US$80million project loan agreement between the government of Ghana and KFW IPEX-Bank GMBH commenced with designing the project (Maintenance, Repairs, Overhauling and safety (MRO) to provide aircraft maintenance activities in Ghana and West Africa.
The rest include an aviation training school; construction of a 54mx54m multipurpose terminal of approximately 5,000m2; management systems, access roads and ancillary facilities exclusive for civil aviation, cargo and hajj village, car pass, bulk storage facility. It is also expected to create jobs for over 4,000 youths; promote growth of the region’s economy; enhance tourism; and also boost socioeconomic development by improving connections to the north of the country.
The Minister for Aviation, Joseph Kofi Adda – who paid a working visit to inspect the state of the project, was impressed with the quality of work executed and also the pace at which the project is being undertaken despite the COVID-19 pandemic. He commended the project’s and airport’s management for the due diligence being made to ensure the region becomes a hub of aviation for the sub-Sahelians.
The minister was accompanied by some management executives of the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), Ghana Airport Company Limited (GACL) and other stakeholders on the tour.
“The excavation, various aspects of the concrete work; the filling, levelling and demarcations have been undertaken and it’s quite encouraging. The required equipment including the trucks, concrete mixers and testing facilities is available, and that is really impressive,” he said.
He noted that the president’s vision is to make Ghana the aviation hub of the West African sub-region, adding that government is also committed in ensuring the Tamale airport has similar facilities to Kotoka in Accra, in order to ease the stress travellers and investors go through with their businesses.
Touching on the state of infrastructure in the country, he stated: “The development and expansion projects at the various airports and air-strips in the country are one aspect of infrastructure development to create job opportunities for the youths.
“The Northern Region Minister, Salifu Saeed, speaking on behalf of the chiefs and people of the Northern as well Savannah, North-East, Upper West and East Regions, expressed gratitude to the president for the honour being done to them.
“The people of Dagbon, especially Yaa Naa Abukari II and other kingdoms, see the project as a peace dividend to attract more investors into the regions to take advantage of the existing potentials in our part of the country and create jobs,” he said.