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Business News of Thursday, 14 May 2015

Source: GNA

Kotoka International Airport to be de-congested

Passengers traveling through the Kotoka International Airport (KIA), would now have some relief from the congestion and long queues that characterized activities at the arrival and immigration halls at the airport.

This follows works by the Ghana Airports Company limited (GACL), to expand the arrival hall by adding 5,142meters squared floor area, to the existing 6,013 meters square.

A release from the GACL, said the project, which is to be completed by the end of 2015, includes the installation of two new baggage handling equipment to bring to four the number of baggage handling equipment at the arrival hall.

Other improvements include the installation of additional immigration booths, new air conditioning systems among others, the release said.

It said as part of the expansion, there would be other electrical, mechanical and plumbing works, adding that, the construction of additional floors would serve as offices for GACL and other stakeholders at the airport.

The project is being funded from internally generated funds and is being undertaken by contractors; Amandi Holdings Limited.

Meanwhile, efforts are being made to make the existing terminal operationally effective, it said, and that, washrooms in the terminal building had been refurbished to ensure the comfort of passengers.

The release said the installation of modern CCTV cameras at every area of the airport was about 90 per cent complete, adding that, the purpose was to provide 24- hour security at every area of the airport.

“Most importantly, the old escalator at the departure terminal has been replaced with a new one, and the GACL has also taken delivery of a second escalator and two new lifts,” the release said, adding that, the installation process “is on-going” and it’s expected to facilitate movement of passengers from the departure hall to the boarding gates.

It said the re-roofing of the entire terminal building at KIA was progressing steadily.

Other on-going projects at KIA include the redesigning of car parks, reconstruction of taxiway and apron pavements, rehabilitation of the touchdown zone and the construction of 17 apron parking stands for mix fleet aircraft, the release said.

Touching on the Tamale Airport, it said the development of the Tamale Airport for international operations was in two Phases, and the scope of works of Phase 1, included an upgrade and extension of the runway from 2438m to 3400m, the construction of a new Apron, the rehabilitation of the existing apron and the installation of Aeronautical Ground Lighting system.

The Tamale Airport is being upgraded to handle international operations including the seasonal Hajj Pilgrimage flights between Ghana and Mecca, and on completion of this project, the Tamale Airport would serve as an alternate to the Kotoka International, Airport and would be able to accommodate a Boeing 747-800 series aircraft and other aircraft of similar build, the release said.

It said the project is to be completed by January 2016, adding that, Antrak, Starbow and Africa World Airlines currently served the Tamale airport.

In 2013, GACL embarked on a phased development of the Kumasi Airport to provide the requisite infrastructure for safe domestic and regional operations, said the release, adding that, the scope of the first phase included the rehabilitation of the runway and the installation of airfield lights for night operations.

It said the first phase had since been completed and inaugurated by His Excellency, President John Dramani Mahama.

“Currently, Master Plan studies for the airport are on-going, and some of the main projects planned in the second phase are expected to include the extension of the runway and the construction of a new terminal building,” the release said, adding that, the Kumasi Airport was served by Antrak, Starbow and Africa World Airlines.

It said in line with GACL’s programme to rehabilitate and upgrade all airports, the Sunyani Airport was being rehabilitated.

“Construction is on-going to expand the Terminal Building to receive modern x-ray security screening equipment,” said the release, adding that, the x-ray screening equipment included an archway metal detector and hold baggage scanner, among others.

It said other enhancements such as CCTV, paved car park and resurfacing of the runway would also be undertaken this year.

Antrak Air and some charter flights serve the Sunyani Airport, the release said.

Touching on future Projects, the release said the dream of achieving GACL’s vision - “to position Ghana as the Preferred Aviation Gateway and Leader in Airport Business in West Africa” was within reach.

It said the GACL had earmarked a number of projects to commence soon, and that, plans were far advanced to build a new international terminal (Terminal 3) to reduce the pressure on the existing terminal at KIA.

The release said the design and build concept was expected to handle up to 5 million passengers per year, adding that, the Ghana Airports Company Limited and the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority, were working together to make the Wa airstrip in the Upper West region operational for commercial flights this year.

“Government has already initiated action towards the construction of a modern airport at Ho in the Volta Region,” said the release.

It added that a contract had been awarded for preliminary works, including access and perimeter roads as well as security posts.

The Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL) commenced operations in January 2007 with the specific responsibility for planning, developing, managing and maintaining all airports in Ghana, including the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) and the three domestic airports namely Kumasi, Tamale and Sunyani, as well as various airstrips.

The GACL emerged from the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), in line with modern trends in the aviation industry.

The Civil Aviation Act, Act 678 of November, 2004 provided for the establishment of a Civil

Aviation Authority, which would focus on the core functions of airspace management and Safety Regulations, whilst allowing for a different organization to handle Airport development and operations.

Pursuant to the above, the GCAA was restructured into two bodies, the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) and the Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL) on January 1, 2007.

The current nine-member GACL Board was constituted in September, 2013, with Mr Tony Lithur as Chairman and Mr Charles Kwame Asare as Ag. Managing Director. Other members are; Dr Bettie Solomon-Ayeh, Mrs Gizella Tetteh Agbotui, Dr Ebenezer Ato Ayirebi-Acquah, Dr Vitus Anaab-Bisi, Mr Twumasi Ankra Selby, Mrs Irene Akoto Marfo and Group. Capt. Reginald Ralph Ayisa.

The Board has subsequently embarked on a programme to transform Ghana’s airports.

The GACL has the vision, mission and corporate values to drive the transformational agenda, to position Ghana as the Preferred Aviation Gateway and Leader in Airport Business in West Africa.