Proposed airport draws investors

Business News of Monday, 8 April 2013

Source: B&FT


Many investors have expressed interest in partnering government — under a Public/Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement — for the construction of an international airport in the Dangme West District of the Greater Accra Region.

“A lot of unsolicited interest is coming [for the construction of a new international airport in Dangme West] and we want to ensure that we do the right thing. This will be a PPP programme and we will do our best to forward it to the PPP desk at the Ministry of Finance for their evaluation and possible advice on the way forward,” the sector Minister Dzifa Ativor told the B&FT in an interview.

Government last year signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the China Airports Construction Corporation (CACC) to undertake a feasibility study for the construction of a new international airport in the Dangme West District. It is also negotiating for the acquisition of a 16,000-acre piece of land in the district for the proposed project.

The need for an additional international airport became more pronounced following the incident last year when an Allied Air Cargo plane overshot the runway of the only international airport in the country — Kotoka International Airport — which led to a rethink of Kotoka’s future as the main international airport.

The country’s aviation industry, with an average annual growth of 10 percent, is one of the fastest-growing and the most competitive in the West Africa sub-region — spurred on by strong economic growth. The number of carriers flying to Kotoka has grown from 15 in 2000 to 40 this year.

Additionally, projections by the Ghana Airports Company Limited show that air-passenger traffic is expected to hit six million by 2015. This represents an expected increase of more than 200 percent over the total passenger throughput of 1.8 million recorded in 2011.

It has been predicted that Accra and Lagos will be aviation “mega-cities” come 2030 — with the two destinations handling more than 10,000 daily long-haul passengers. This presents an opportunity for the country to construct a new international airport to take the pressure off the KIA.