Prempeh I Airport will boost development in Ashanti Region - Richard Ahiagbah
Prempeh I Airport will boost development in Ashanti Region - Richard Ahiagbah
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Prempeh I Airport will boost development in Ashanti Region - Richard Ahiagbah

The Director of Communications for the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Richard Ahiagbah, says the Nana Agyemang Prempeh I International Airport in Kumasi is expected to open up the Ashanti region for increased trade flows and investments.

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This, he believes, will set the stage for a rapid surge in development.

"President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has successfully completed the expansion work at the Kumasi International Airport. As of today, it will be known as the Nana Agyemang Prempeh I International Airport. This investment is expected to open up the region for increased trade flows and investments, setting the stage for a rapid surge in development. By voting for us, Bawumia will add on to this legacy of growth and prosperity for our people. It's possible! Great commendation to His Excellency Akufo-Addo and the New Patriotic Party," he wrote on X.

On Friday, May 10, President Nana Akufo-Addo officially opened the Prempeh I International Airport in Kumasi. He was assisted in the ceremony by the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.

The commissioning ceremony of the former Kumasi International Airport on May 10 was attended by traditional authorities, government officials, and members of the New Patriotic Party.

It is hoped that with this development, the era of traveling to the capital city, Accra, before boarding a flight to travel outside the country will soon be over for most residents in the Ashanti Region and the northern part of the country.

The idea of making Kumasi Airport an international one generated a lot of excitement among residents when work on the second phase began in May 2018; it was projected to be completed in 24 months.

This included the construction of a new terminal building, parking areas, VVIP and VIP lounges, restaurants, commercial areas, boarding gates, and a power station at a cost of 66 million Euros.

The third and final phase scheduled to be completed by June 2023 faced delays due to financial constraints.

It consisted of extending the existing runway, building a new air traffic control building, installing an aeronautical ground lighting system, building a fire station, and constructing new taxi links, among others, at a cost of 58 million euros.

Although the initial completion timeline was not met, the airport is now ready for international flights with a capacity to handle 800,000 passengers per year and 200 passengers every hour.

Commissioning the facility, President Akufo-Addo said the transformation of the Kumasi Airport into an international airport is turning a vision into reality.

"This project is crucial for both the government and the people of the Ashanti Region. It will not only meet the needs of the region but also serve as a symbol of development and progress. The airport will serve as an important gateway forging economic ties, supporting international trade and tourism, and promoting cultural exchange," he said.

Speaking on behalf of the Asantehene, the Juabenhene Nana Otuo Siribuor II expressed his gratitude to the President for completing the project.

"The operation of the airport is going to make travel cheaper for us because sometimes you get to Accra and due to bad weather, you cannot fly to Kumasi. You either have to lodge in a hotel or come to Kumasi by road. We are grateful to the President for fulfilling his promise to the good people of Ashanti," Nana Otuo Siribuor II said.

Residents of Kumasi are excited about the new airport, but will likely have to wait a few months before enjoying the full benefits as operations are not starting immediately.

Transport Minister Kwaku Ofori Asiamah explained that the commissioning of the terminal and its ancillary facilities, such as the radar and the control tower, does not mark the end of the work.

"We will commence full commercial operation at the terminal after completion of some works by the end of June. This will give us the opportunity to identify and correct any issue that may arise. Construction is still ongoing in relation to the taxi link and runway extension. The runway extension is expected to be completed between August and September.

"We had to commission the terminal to enable us to move in here after two months, so that it will give us the opportunity to break part of the old terminal and the old VIP which is part of the extension of the runway," he explained.

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