Tamale International Airport opens
Tamale, the Northern regional capital, was ushered into a brand new life on Tuesday afternoon when Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, inaugurated the second phase of the redevelopment project of the Tamale International Airport (TIA) at a brief ceremony.
The airport, which has now gained international status, is formally open to passengers.
This follows successful tests and simulation exercises on the project by the Ghana Airport Company Limited (GACL).
The expansion works, costing $70 million, included the construction of a modern terminal building and other ancillary facilities such as a VIP lounge, two boarding gates, four self-service check-in kiosks, eight check-in desks, airline offices, commercial retail areas, a multi-purpose terminal for Hajj travel facilitation and a five-kilometre road network.
The airport also has a 350-capacity car park, a technical area which includes a reservoir for potable water and firefighting, and a sewage treatment plant, among other facilities.
Inaugurating the facility, Dr Bawumia indicated that the terminal was designed for a passenger throughput of 400,000 annually, adding that with the opening of the new terminal, a number of airlines would now be flying directly from Tamale to various parts of the world.
He said the project was in line with the government's efforts to expand the infrastructure in the airline industry to boost the businesses in the country and attract foreign investors, while making Ghana an aviation hub of the West African sub-region.
He added that TIA would now serve as a good alternative and complement to the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) for international travel and a nerve centre for air travel for the North and the Sahel to Europe and beyond.
"Agriculture is known as a major sector in the north, so this project would help boost agro-based agriculture; it is a major hub for air cargo for the exportation of agricultural produce to Europe and various parts of the world,” he noted.
Aside from that, Dr Bawumia said the annual Hajj Pilgrimage had also received a major boost as the new terminal could now contain more aircraft for international travels.
For his part, the Minister of Transport, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, said the new airport was a gateway to promoting international trade, tourism and culture.
While urging the existing domestic airlines to increase their frequencies to make services available to the travelling public at all times, he admonished international airlines to consider extending their services to the region.
He reiterated the government’s commitment to extend aviation infrastructure and services to all regions in the country, noting that the aviation sector had witnessed significant growth in infrastructure development and service expansion, coupled with the implementation of the government’s liberalised sky policy for the past six years.
The Managing Director of the Ghana Airport Company, Pamela Djamson Tetteh, expressed gratitude to Dr Bawumia for his “unwavering support towards the completion” of the new terminal building, a five-kilometre road network, along with its ancillary facilities.
“Our objective throughout this phase has been to eliminate any risk associated with the migration; and we are committed to ensuring the seamless transfer of operations to this new terminal,” she said.
She said the company “remain committed to managing this state-of-the-art facility and to providing world-class services” to the public.
The Northern Regional Minister, Shani Alhassan Shaibu, said the project demonstrated that the government cared for the people of the region and the entire northern part of the country.
He called on investors to consider exploring the numerous investment opportunities in the region to help create jobs for the teeming youth and open up the area.
On Thursday, August 15, 2019, the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, cut the sod for the commencement of the second phase of the rehabilitation of the Tamale Airport.
The project was funded by a United Kingdom Export Finance (UKEF) facility, with support from KFW IPEC-Bank, and was expected to be completed in 30 months.
The scope of work included the construction of a modular airport terminal building of approximately 5,000 square metres, which is expandable in the future; a Hajj facility of approximately 1,000m2, a single carriageway access road, landside and airside infrastructure adapted to the terminal size, and water, electricity and sewerage infrastructure deemed necessary for normal operations.
The new airport when fully completed,will have VVIP & VIP lounges, three boarding gates, four self-service check-in kiosks, 12 check-in desks, operational offices, airline offices, administrative offices, baby care, commercial and rental areas and an underground water tank.