The Ho Airport begins operations in the middle of April with flights by domestic airline operators, African World Airlines (AWA) after it expressed readiness to begin operations at the facility.
The Minister of Transport, Mr Kweku Ofori Asiamah who paid a day’s visit to the region on Wednesday to assess the readiness of the Ho Airport to receive commercial flights, called on traditional leaders and the Volta Regional Minister to protect the airport lands to ensure its preservation for future expansion.
He said it was critical for all to secure the land for future use and as such anyone who encroached on it would have their building razed without compensation.
The Minister was impressed with work done on the Ho Airport, which he said indicated its readiness for a full take off of operations.
He said the aviation industry was private sector driven hence the need for diverse support from all players in order to improve upon the sector, even as government awaits the operations of Ghana’s national carrier by the end of 2021.
“The basic problem that we have in this country is that, government doesn’t have a homebased carrier. It is private sector driven.”
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Mr. Asiamah said with the commencement of commercial flights at the airport, there was the need for residents, including those in the business community to patronize these flights in order for the sector to make the required turnaround especially following the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said there were other avenues for diversifying the functions of the airport including training of pilots.
“We are trying to put this airport to other uses like training of pilots and other uses. We are in discussion with the private sector. A group has contacted us and we are in discussion with them. So apart from using it for a commercial purpose, we can use this place to train our pilots”.
Tourism He said the sector would also drive gains in the tourism sector and shore up its potentials.
Director-General of the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority, Mr Charles Krakue said collaboration between key stakeholders including the Ghana Tourism Authority have already yielded a collaborative schedule for the commercial flights to commence in the regional capital.
Meanwhile, the Managing Director, Ghana Airports Company Limited, Mr Yaw Kwakwa said weather monitoring, communication and navigation equipment have been installed and would be operated by qualified personnel when operations start in two weeks.
Volta Regional Minister, Dr Archibald Yao Letsa urged industry players especially those in the private sector to take advantage of the newly operational airport and identify avenues to contribute to its boost.
Boosting Volta's economy
Awafiaga of the Asogli State, Togbe Adzie Lakle Howusu XII said he was relieved to see that the operationalisation of the Airport was now a reality. He expressed high hopes that activities of the Airport would culminate in the economic growth of the region.
The Ho airport project, valued at $25 million was completed in 2018. It has a traffic control tower, a runway, a waiting area for over 1,000 passengers, and a state of the art bus terminal, among others.