KIA Terminal 3 opens to international flights

BY: Maclean Kwofi
 Mr John Dekyem Attafuah (middle), with Mr Vishalan Govender (right) at the newly constructed Terminal Three
Mr John Dekyem Attafuah (middle), with Mr Vishalan Govender (right) at the newly constructed Terminal Three

The Terminal Three project of the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) has been formally opened to the air travelling public.

This follows successful tests and simulation exercises of the project by the Ghana Airport Company Limited (GACL).

Hundreds of travellers used both the arrival and departure halls of the new terminal after going through what was described as first-class airport procedures.

The Managing Director (MD) of GACL, Mr John Dekyem Attafuah, told the Daily Graphic in an interview the new terminal three had officially gone live for only international airlines.

He explained that the new terminal had gone through more than 36 tests and simulations which gave the contractors of the facility the opportunity to readjust some of the systems in order to serve customers better.

“Overall, we did 36 tests and simulations with airlines live. We have checked in passengers over time just to ensure that we get a good grasp of the new system in place,” he said.

The new facility, which is expected to be inaugurated on October 2 this year, has the capacity to handle 1,250 passengers an hour, which adds up to some five million passengers a year.

It also has a fully automated baggage handling system designed in accordance with the latest European Civil Aviation Conference Hold Baggage Screening (ECAC HBS) requirements and is expected to handle 3,000 bags per hour.

The US$250 million project, which began on October 30, 2015 and was completed on June 29, 2018, has six boarding bridges and seven links (expandable to eight in the future).

Computerised system

The Manager in Charge of Information Technology at the new terminal, Mr Vishalan Govender, told the Daily Graphic that unlike the old terminals, the new Terminal Three had been fully computerised.

“We have fully moved from the traditional manual processing of passengers to electronic platforms. This is a great mind shift from functionality and operability of the procedures at the airport”, Mr Govender, who is also the manager in charge of IT at the Airport Company of South Africa (ACSA), said.

Travellers’ interactions

Passengers both in the arrival and departure halls of the new terminal expressed their excitement about the new facilities at the airport.

Mr Daniel Amartey, one of the many passengers, said: “I am very impressed with the way things are handled here. The airport is beautiful. Both the men and women who took care of me were very polite and good looking. Congratulations for building an airport like this.”

Another traveller, Mr Van Ericson, with whom the Daily Graphic spoke at the arrival hall, maintained that the new terminal had first-class airport procedures.

Mrs Theresa Owen, a tourist, indicated that the new terminal was very attractive and could be used to attract tourists into the country.

“I have travelled throughout Africa. The only airport I have seen this kind of facility is in Johannesburg, South Africa. This is not just a nice terminal by African standards but by every standard,” she stated.