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Business News of Thursday, 19 February 2015

Source: B&FT

New Kotoka airport terminal to begin March

The Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL) is to begin construction of a third terminal, to be known as Terminal Three, at the Kotoka International Airport by March 2015, B&FT sources have said.

A third terminal has been necessitated by the increasing volume of international and local traffic, as well as the quest to position the country as a transit route of choice within the sub-region. The only international airport in the country, KIA, has two main terminals. Terminal One is dedicated to domestic flight operations while Terminal Two is designated for international operations.

The new Terminal is to be constructed on the stretch of land around the recently completed parking bays designed to accommodate wide-bodied planes. The present GACL office is to make way for construction of T3 at the KIA enclave.

International passenger throughput has been increasing by 10 percent yearly over the past five years. Latest figures obtained from the Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL) however indicate that international passenger throughput for 2014 was about 1.6million, a marginal decline from the 2013 figure of 1.7million.

Transit passengers increased from 162,000 in 2013 to 178,000 in 2014, representing an increase of some 9.5 percent. Cargo throughput also increased, by 24.5 percent from 44,000 tonnes in 2013 to 54,000 tonnes in 2014.

The GACL is raising a US$600million facility from private sources that is to be invested over a three-year period for enhancing airport infrastructure and services. Part of the amount is to be expended on constructing the new Terminal Three.

Mr. Charles Asare, Managing Director of GACL said the company is close to finalising the first tranche of US$350million.

"We are quite close to finalising the first tranche for US$350 million. Financing is what you do, based on the market. We will most likely close the first tranche, which gives us what we need for the first phase of our project.”

The amount is to be expended in the on-going expansion works at the arrival hall of the existing terminal at Kotoka International Airport (KIA), and building the ultra-modern Terminal Three at KIA that will have six aero-bridges.

In view of the growing traffic, ground handling companies and other service providers are scaling-up investment in new products and services in order to meet the needs and demands of the travelling public and clients.

Aviance Ghana Ltd., a ground handling company, has acquired two more Cobus 2700s buses as part of its fleet renewal programme for passenger transportation at the Kotoka International Airport.

The tropically-designed vehicles worth US$500,000 per unit are expected to address the growing passenger throughput and future projected growth. Mr. Paul Craig, the Managing Director of Aviance Ghana said: “We have acquired two new Cobus 2700s buses. This brings our total fleet size to nine. The number of buses we have now is fine for the amount of work we have at this airport. As the airport grows, we will use the resources that we have to grow with it”.