Business News of Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Source: B&FT

Airports Company seeks US$738m

The Ghana Airport Company Limited (GACL) is seeking to raise US$738.2 million through a public-private partnership to develop the five existing airports in the country.

Of the amount, US$402 million is to be used to develop the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) as a hub to service the sub-region under the Investment and Gateway Programme.

An amount of US$173.2 million is being sought for rehabilitation and expansion works at the Kumasi domestic airports; US$64 million for the Tamale airport; US$ 35.5 million for the Sunyani airport; and US$63.5 million for Takoradi airport.

The increase in the volume of traffic- with 33 scheduled airlines services KIA- and the rapid growth of the domestic aviation market has put pressure on the country’s airport facilities.

There is also a high demand new airline to initiate bilateral arrangements that will lead to the commencement of flight operations in Ghana.

The country’s aviation industry, with an average annual growth of 10 per cent, is one of the fastest-growing and the most competitive in the West Africa sub-region and is driven by the strong growth of economy.

Air-passenger traffic is expected to hit six million by 2015. This represents an expected increase of more than 200 per cent over total passenger throughput of 1.8 million recorded in 2011.

The Kumasi route, which is the busiest domestic airport in the country, has recorded an increase of 300 per cent in passenger through put-from an average of 4,000 passengers a month in 2011 to 16,000- this year.

The GACL is targeting foreign and local investors to provide the requisite capital and expertise to develop the infrastructure necessary to expand capacity to meet the increasing demand.

Domestic airline operators, in recent times, have called for the expansion and renovation of Kumasi and Sunyani airports in order to accommodate bigger and heavier aircraft.

In October, the Kumasi airport was closed for some days for renovation works after some defects were detected on the runway.

The GACL says it is evaluation proposals received from local and foreign bidders, including Brazilian investors have tabled proposals for the construction of the proposed Tamale International Airport in the Northern Region.