The Sector Minister for Transport, Hon. Dzifa Aku Attivor has taken her turn at the weekly based ”Meet The Press” series of the Ministry of Information to brief a cross section of the media of her Ministry’s impact towards the Better Ghana Agenda of the Government.
Her presentation which anchored on the Ministry’s projects, performances, achievements, challenges as well as the way forward of the Sector was her first interaction with the media at the series, since taken over as the political head of the Ministry of Transport.
The Minister announced that a comprehensive and integrated national airport system is being prepared to address the country’s air transportation needs taking into consideration land use and environmental issues.
The Ministry has also taken a review of the current aviation regulatory framework to prepare all necessary regulations that will enable growth and development of the Ghanaian transport industry, she said.
The aviation sub-sector she noted has performed greatly with the introduction of three new international carriers namely Royal Air Jordan, Gambia Bird and Air Rwanda, which brings the total of international airlines plying the nation’s international airport to 36.
Hon. Dzifa Attivor further stated that a number of airlines are going through certification process to commence operations in the country soon. She mentioned Sika, Pison, Century Aviation, Zaab Air, Gulf Wing, Afrinat Airlines amongst others as some of the airlines going through the process.
She disclosed that the nation’s premier airport, the Kotoka International Airport’s[KIA] phase three project which includes the remodeling and expansion of its terminal including aerobridges installation is on course and at some levels of completion.
Installation of an ultra-modern Instrument Landing System [ILS] has been completed at the KIA to replace the old one destroyed by the Allied Air crash last year. Also a multi-purpose air traffic simulator has been installed at the Ghana Aviation Training Academy [GATA] as well as the construction of a 7-storey building complex of GATA which is about 80% complete.
She mentioned the constructions of Southern Apron for wide -bodied aircraft at KIA, additional storage tanks for ATK at KIA, installation of additional Baggage handling and Screening System at the KIA terminal, reconstruction of taxi way, fuel mains rehabilitation and extension as well as the provision of Aeronautical Ground Lighting projects which are at various completion levels as some of the expansion projects been undertaken to give facelift to the nation’s number one airport.
She also revealed that some regional airports including the Kumasi and Tamale Airports are being rehabilitated. The Runway of the Kumasi Airport will be rehabilitated and extended from 1,981 metres to 2500 metres. An ultra-modern ILS is being installed at the Airport to aid safe landing of aircrafts especially when visibility is poor.
She revealed that the upgrade of the Tamale Airport as an alternate to the KIA is on-going with the commercial agreement for the Phase 1 of the airport upgrade signed.
She however mentioned inadequate funding to support infrastructure development, inadequate training institutions and requisite infrastructure to provide skilled personnel to enhance capacity development in the sector, encroachments and lack of titles to lands for infrastructure development, unacceptable number of fatalities and carnages as some of the challenges confronting the Ministry.
On the way forward for the Transport Ministry, she noted that they will continue to explore the Private Public Partnership [PPP] options to address infrastructure challenges and also depend on Government to release funds for social infrastructure development in the sector.
Through the Finance Ministry she said, they will seek for bilateral funds for the development of other infrastructure projects and to also engage the Lands and Natural Resources Ministry to perfect title to all transport lands to avoid further encroachments.
She encouraged the private sector to set up training institutions to train the needed skilled manpower required for the sector as it has been the policy of her Government to involve the private sector in PPP arrangements in the transport infrastructure development.
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