The Minister of Aviation, Mr Joseph Kofi Adda, yesterday performed a sod-cutting ceremony at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) in Accra for the commencement of expansion works on an apron at the northern side of the airport and an office complex for the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA).
The projects are in line with the government’s plan to make Ghana an aviation hub within West Africa and a destination of choice for travellers.
Work on the apron — an area of the airport where aircraft will park, unload and load, refuel or for boarding — and the office building is expected to be completed in two years.
The office will provide a modern and improved working environment for the workers of the GCAA.
Before the sod-cutting ceremony, Mr Adda had said the projects were based on the government’s conviction that having aviation infrastructure would attract more global industry players to the country.
He said legislation was being drafted to strengthen safety and security in Ghana’s aviation sector, following the granting of Executive approval by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to amend and cure the defects in the existing laws.
As a result, he said, new regulations would be introduced to make way for the establishment of an Independent Accident and Serious Incident Investigations Bureau.
He was of the view that the establishment would help build more confidence in the Ghanaian aviation industry and attract more airline activities.
To ease traffic congestion and improve the flow of vehicles through the Airport City enclave, Mr Adda said, there were plans to expand the road network, as well as introduce other modern forms of transportation, such as light rail, to serve Airport City One and Two.
He announced that the Ministry of Aviation had secured $70 million for the second phase of the Tamale International Airport expansion works.
The project is funded by the German development bank, KfW, and work is expected to kick off in April.
The acting Managing Director of the Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL), Mr Yaw Kwakwa, said the northern apron project would have space for 14 aircraft.
As operators of airports in Ghana, he said, the GACL was prepared to position the country as an aviation hub.
On the office complex for the GCAA, the Director General of the authority, Mr Simon Allotey, said it had become necessary to build modern office accommodation for the authority since the current office was an old building put up in the 1960s to house staff of the authority, air navigation equipment, an aerial control centre and an air traffic control tower.
He said over the years, the limited space had resulted in staff of the authority being scattered within the airport area, saying that posed challenges to effective coordination and efficiency of the authority.
Mr Allotey said the eight-storey building to be put up on a 9,300 metre square land would have underground parking, a data centre, a cafeteria, a gym and an executive lounge.
The project is being constructed by Amandi Investments Limited.