General News of Tuesday, 29 January 2013
The Ghana Airport Company limited (GACL) on Monday explained that last Saturday night flooding at the arrivals terminals of the Kotoka International Airport was caused by choking of the exit pipes for water with debris probably from an ongoing re-roofing project.
Mrs. Doreen Owusu-Fianko, Managing Director GACL in an interview with the Ghana News Agency said workers were currently on site to correct the cause of the flooding by end of the week.
She said GACL would do its own test rain after the work was done, using water from the GACL’s fire tenders to ensure that the incident does not recur.
“In the meantime, arrangements have been made for passengers, after going through Immigration and Customs checks to leave through the VVIP exit area to the car parks in case of a rainfall.
Mr Owusu-Fianko also noted that the terminal, like the whole airport, was almost 50 years old; necessitating on-going works.
Reacting to newspaper publication about the flooding, she said, although the on-going re-roofing of the terminal was supposed to take a few months, they had realized that there was more work to be done on it.
“The re-roofing project, which is part of the phase three rehabilitation of the airport, has encountered set-backs due to irregularities in rainfall patterns, which caused similar situations in the past few months.
“One of the pipes serving as an exit for water got choked, probably with debris which caused the water to seep into the canyon, flooding the terminal, whilst some cracks in the glass panels also allowed water to seep through” she explained.
Mrs Owusu-Fianko said due to increases in passenger traffic worldwide, several airports around the world, such as Frankfurt, Lagos and Heathrow were constantly working on their airports.
She also attributed the intermittent breakdown of the baggage carousels at the KIA to pressure on the carousel, which originally was made to handle passengers of smaller aircrafts, about 500,000 per annum but now served larger aircrafts with more luggage allowance, totalling about two million passengers annually.
She said new carousels were currently being installed in phases so as not to disrupt operations and should be completed by end of the year.
She apologized to passengers for the inconvenience and urged them to bear with the airport, which she hinted would soon under-go a major rehabilitation.
The Daily Guide newspaper on Monday published an article on the flooding of the arrival terminal at the KIA, which it said caused an embarrassment to arriving passengers and caused the authorities to re-direct arriving passengers to the departure hall without the knowledge of those who came to meet them.