International airlines not using Kumasi Airport – Transport Minister


No airline has applied to operate the Kumasi Airport internationally despite the facility being granted international status, Mrs Dzifa Aku Attivor, Minister for Transport told Parliament on Thursday.

The facility now is running only domestic flights, she added.

Mrs Attivor drew the attention to the plight on the use of the airport when answering an urgent question that stood in the name of Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh, MP for Manhyia South.

Dr Prempeh wanted to know the total cost breakdown for the rehabilitation of the Kumasi Airport that had been announced as US$29 million.

The date for the granting of international status to the facility is unclear as the Minister mentioned 2009, while some sources within the aviation industry pointed to the year 2003.

The Minister said the airport built in 1943 is one of the busiest domestic airports in Ghana, and it was currently served by Antrak, Africa and Star Bow Airlines.

It has an annual domestic turnout of about 450,000 passengers.

Mrs Ativor said the two components to the Kumasi Airport Rehabilitation project were the rehabilitation of existing airfield pavements and the provision and installation of aeronautical ground lighting system.

President John Dramani Mahama and the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu ll jointly inaugurated the aeronautical ground lighting (AGL) system at the Kumasi International Airport (KIA) last December.

The $4.9 million project forms part of the major refurbishment that has transformed Kumasi into an international airport.

On a rare night, President Mahama last December made the symbolic first landing with the presidential jet from Abuja, Nigeria, where he had attended the 46th Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government.

His arrival at the airport opened the gates for the Kumasi International Airport, which had operated earlier from 0600 to 1800 hours, to start operating 24 hours.

In 2013, the Government of Ghana embarked upon a phased development of the Kumasi Airport to provide the requisite infrastructure for safe domestic and international operations in lauding night operations.

With the new lease of life, the 71-year-old airport is set to accommodate bigger aircraft and begin the process to turn Ghana into an aviation hub in the sub-region.

Many saw the emergence of Ghana’s second international airport in Kumasi as a major step towards boosting the economy of Kumasi, nicknamed the Garden City in particular and the Ashanti Region in general.

Meanwhile, the Legislature is sitting into late evening before it rises for the Easter recess on Thursday.


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