Business News of Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Source: Daily Guide

Aviation Industry targets 6m passengers by 2015

Ghana's Aviation industry expects passenger traffic into the country to hit 6 million by 2015.

With an average annual growth of 10 percent, the aviation industry is one of the fastest-growing and the most competitive in the West Africa sub-region driven mainly by the strong growth of economy.

The target represents an increase of over 200 percent over total passenger throughout of 1.8 million recorded in 2011.

It is as a result of this that the Ghana Airport Company Limited (GACL) has noted that it is working around the clock to raise US$738.2 million through public-private partnership to help develop the country’s five airports.

US$402 million of the amount will be used to develop the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) as a hub to service the sub-region.

Meanwhile, an amount of US$173.2 million is needed to rehabilitate and expand works at the Kumasi domestic airport while US$64 million is expected to be used for the Tamale airport; US$ 35.5 million for the Sunyani airport; and US$63.5 million for the Takoradi airport.

Currently, even though there are 33 scheduled airlines operating at KIA, the urge for more airlines continues despite the pressure that mounts on the domestic aviation market.

The busiest of Ghana’s domestic airports, Kumasi, recorded an increase of 300 percent in passenger throughput from an average of 4,000 passengers a month in 2011 to 16,000 in 2012.

Given this situation, GACL has called for partnership from foreign and local investors to provide the essential capital and expertise to develop infrastructure needed to expand capacities of Ghana’s airports to meet the increasing demand.

In October 2012, the Kumasi airport was closed for some days for renovation works after some defects were found on the runway.

The GACL says it is evaluating proposals from local and foreign bidders, who are desirous of constructing the proposed Tamale International Airport.

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.

GACL has also thrown a word of caution to air travelers: “All passengers should adequately secure their baggage. Don’t look after or check-in baggage for someone else. Don’t carry anything into an aircraft for someone else. Keep electrical or electronic goods to a minimum.”