President Mahama witnesses Tamale Airport's first international flight

By
Albert Futukpor, GNA

Tamale, Aug. 20, GNA – President John Mahama
on Friday inaugurated the first phase of the upgrade and expansion of the
Tamale Airport and the first direct commercial flight from the Airport to
Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

The boeing 747 400-series, which took off at
15:40 GMT, carried 498 passengers to Mecca to participate in this year’s Hajj
activities.

President Mahama, who witnessed the take-off
of the first direct commercial flight from the Tamale International Airport,
was elated that his government has fulfilled a major campaign promise to the
people of the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions to fly direct from
Tamale to Mecca for Hajj activities.

The upgrade and expansion of the Tamale
Airport into an international airport means that the country now has an
alternative airport capable of handling wide body aircraft like Kotoka
International Airport.

The upgrade and expansion of the Tamale
International Airport is to transform the economy of the country in general and
the northern part of the country in particular as Tamale has the potential of
attracting increased air traffic and international connectivity.

President Mahama said the Tamale
International Airport would support economic activities such as the exportation
of perishable agricultural produce from the Savanna Accelerated Development
Authority zone.

He said the government was working to
develop aviation infrastructure across the country adding the runway of the Ho
Airport would be completed this year whiles in the next few months, the Wa
Airport would begin recording commercial flights.

Mr Fiifi Kwetey, Minister for Transport,
urged airlines in the country to reduce air fares as government has also
reduced the cost of aviation fuel to make their services affordable.

Sheik Osman Nuhu Sharubutu, National Chief
Imam, who also witnessed the take-off of the first direct commercial flight
from the Tamale International Airport to Mecca, thanked Allah for the
initiative and prayed for the leadership of the country.

Sheik Sharubutu also thanked Allah for the
peace prevailing amongst various religious and ethnic groups in the country.

GNA

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