Kotoka Airport Terminal 3 to be operational from September 15

BY: Kweku Zurek
Mr Attafuah (in green) guiding the Minister (in smock) on the tour of Terminal 3.
Mr Attafuah (in green) guiding the Minister (in smock) on the tour of Terminal 3.

The Managing Director of the Ghana Airports Company Limited, Mr John Dekyem Attafuah has announced that the newly constructed Terminal 3 of the Kotoka International Airport will become fully operational on September 15 ahead of its official inauguration by President Akufo-Addo on October 2.

Briefing the press moments after guiding the Minister of Aviation, Mr Joseph Kofi Adda on a tour of the terminal on Friday (September 7), Mr Attafuah said the project which cost $275 million, is ready for use after being tested in about 36 simulations.

He said: "For some of us, we even have forgotten that it's a new terminal because of all the prior tests that we conducted. We have had about 36 simulations so far and so for us it's like second nature now.

"Last Monday we started live flights from this airport, we had four flights on Monday, four airlines used here but for Emirates, for example, they came in went to Abidjan and came back in. So that's what we have and today We have had our first arrivals to this terminal and so far all our systems have worked as we had expected and we are very confident that come the 15th of September, we should not have any problems and challenges," Mr Attafuah added.

He further disclosed that Terminal 2 will now be used for domestic flights.

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Minister's assessment of Terminal 3

Mr Adda in his assessment after the tour described Terminal 3 as a 'top class' facility comparable to the best terminals in airports across the world.

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The Minister also charged all staff of the GACL and users of the terminal to ensure that the maintenance manuals of the facility were adhered to.

He said: "We have seen Terminal 3 before it's been commissioned. I am sure, it speaks for itself. What we see is top class comparable to any terminal that you will find anywhere in the world. Professionally done, neat, things well organised, the markings are there in terms of where to go to get whatever service...

"I think it's up to us as Ghanaians, especially when we come here to also maintain that decorum and make sure that everything we are doing is top class. Everything is professionally done".

100% owned national carrier outmoded

Updating the media about the progress made in acquiring a national career, Mr Adda said the idea of a 100% state-owned airline was outmoded and the government was rather exploring avenues to establish a home-based carrier.

According to him, government's stake in a home-based carrier when it is set-up will be floated in shared on the Ghana Stock Exchange to allow Ghanaians to own a part of the airline.

"First of all, the idea of a national carrier is the old fashioned way of stating it. In other words in the past when we had Ghana airways We had the Ghana airways aircraft or a system that was owned by Ghana alone or government-owned but now we are looking at a different model", Mr Adda explained.

"The model simply means that we have a number of investors coming into partnership with the government of Ghana to have what we call a home-based carrier, not a national carrier. Home-based carrier means that the aircraft of the company that will be set-up flying those aircraft will be based in Ghana.

"What the government is doing looking at the partnerships from a strategic point of view, the state cannot do everything on their own but if we have strategic partners who want to invest in a home-based carrier they are welcome to do that. We haven't fixed the percentages yet but we are looking at anywhere between 10, 15, 20 per cent to be owned by the state and the rest of it will be sold out to whoever wishes to invest".

The Minister said his outfit was currently assessing proposals in that regard from Ethiopian Airlines, Air Mauritius and Etihad Airways.

About Terminal 3

The GACL's iconic project which began in 2015 is located at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA).

According to the design-build and concept of the project undertaken by Turkish construction company Mapa Construction MNG Holding (Mapa İnşaat ve Ticaret) it has facilities including; five levels spread across an area of 48,268m² and Semi closed areas for the Baggage Make up Areas 0f 28,260m², ultramodern facilities and capacity to handle 5 million passengers a year, capacity to process 1,250 passengers per hour as well as six boarding bridges, and 7 links(expandable to 8 in the future).

It also has a large retail area (7000m²), a terminal for Commercially Important Persons (CIP), three business lounges and 707 car parking slots and a new Road network.

Watch a tour of the facility below;