Central Region Airport project: Feasibility completed, project to include aircraft repair centre
The proposed Central Region Airport project will host the first aircraft repair centre in West Africa.
The project, expected to be sited near Komenda in the Komenda Edina Eguafo Abrem (KEEA) Municipality in the Central Region, will have an aircraft repair centre to be the only one in West Africa to serve the entire sub-region.
Currently, there are only two such facilities in Africa, one in South Africa and the other in Ethiopia.
The facility is necessary for making the country an aviation hub. To establish a hub, there is the need for an airport that has a good transfer desk and transit section, with a transit Visa or Visa on Arrival.
The country also needs an airport with cheap aviation fuel, as well as Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facilities. There should be an airline to drive the hub.
The feasibility studies for the airport project have been concluded and the report with the recommendations would be handed over to the Presidency in a few weeks.
The consultant to the project, Leslie Alex Ayeh of Ayeh and Ayeh Engineering Consultancy, who presented the findings to the Central Regional Coordinating Council yesterday, said extensive feasibility studies, including baseline surveys, found a suitable location, lying about six kilometres around the Kissi-Komenda area for the project.
He indicated that the airport, which was initially targeting only tourism promotion, would now be a cargo and passenger facility and was expected to attract traffic from across Africa and other parts of the world.
It is expected to have a cargo centre and an aviation centre of excellence that will interconnect the facility with engineering training in educational institutions in and around Cape Coast.
Mr Ayeh himself has extensive experience with the Cape Coast Airport project which has been proposed over two decades ago but never saw the light of day.
Rekindling the vision, he said President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo wanted a more vibrant project with an expanded scope which was a cargo-focused facility.
In choosing the site, Mr Ayeh said six sites were identified, two in Takoradi, two in Cape Coast and two between Cape Coast and Takoradi.
Why Komenda site
The consultant indicated that the final choice of Komenda was informed by its geophysical makeup, topography, layout and the land’s suitability to host a long cargo plane runway and for ensuring safety.
Again, the trans-African gas pipeline, railway, power lines, the properties on the sites and the cost of compensation to be paid for the right of way were rated, with the site at Komenda giving them the best option.
He indicated that a Resettlement Action Plan would be put in place for the settlements to be affected.
Critical trade hub
The project, Mr Ayeh indicated, was being planned to strategically position Ghana as an important trading hub on the continent to take full advantage of the commercial activities and opportunities associated with the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Mr Ayeh observed that the project would bring about employment and extensive infrastructural development in roads and rail connectivity to Takoradi, opening up the area for more vibrant economic activities.
The Central Regional Minister, Justina Marigold Assan, urged all in the region, particularly traditional rulers, to rally behind the project for it to become a reality.
She said the benefits for the region were enormous and its success must be the priority of all stakeholders.
Other stakeholders called for extensive education and sensitisation of the issues arising in all affected and neighbouring communities.