President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has cut sod for the commencement of the second Phase of the Tamale Airport project to be completed in 30 months at an estimated cost of 70 million dollars.
It will encompass construction of a modular airport terminal building of approximately 5,000 square metres, which will be 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 construction of water, power and sewerage infrastructure deemed necessary for normal operations.
The construction of an ultra-modern terminal building, together with a multi-purpose Hajj facility, and other ancillary facilities, the president said will provide the needed impetus for increased economic and trading activities.
It will also reinforce the status of Tamale as a sub-Saharan hub for flights to and from neighbouring West African countries and the Sahel Region, the president added.
When completed, it will complement the Accra Kotoka International Airport. Significantly, it will make Tamale the centre of Hajj-related activities in the country and will facilitate seamless travels from Ghana directly to Saudi Arabia for the pilgrimage to Mecca.
“Funding for this project has been secured, made possible by facilities from UK Export Finance and KfW IPEX-Bank of Germany, for which we are grateful. Advance mobilization has been processed for payment to the contractors,” Nana Akufo-Addo said.
He continued, “Thirty months is thirty months, and the contractors must deliver the project on schedule to avoid any cost overruns. Compensation has been paid to all persons and groups affected by this project, and, so, we anticipate a very smooth project cycle.”
As part of government’s resolve to increase domestic aviation activities, the President indicated that a host of other projects are on-going, and these include Phases 2 and 3 of Kumasi Airport, and the rehabilitation of Sunyani Airport.
“In addition to the development of infrastructure for the domestic aviation sector, the elimination, in 2017, by Government of the 17.5% VAT on domestic ticket sales has reduced the cost of tickets, and doubled the frequency of domestic air travels. We are determined to boost the domestic aviation industry,” he added.
President Akufo-Addo urged the operators and regulators of the country’s airports, as well as the Lands Commission, to sit up and ensure that lands, belonging to the country’s airports, are managed properly and duly protected, not only for future projects of expansion, but also for safeguarding lives and property.
To Yaa Na Mahama Abukari II, who was present at the event, the President stated that “I assure you that this project is a sign of greater things to come for Tamale and the Northern Region and, indeed, for the whole nation. Government’s commitment to the development of all parts of Ghana, without discrimination, is absolute.”