Wednesday, April 10, 2013

■ GHANA: Government okays $100million allocation for construction of a major international airport in Tamale.

GhanaThe Ghanaian Parliament has greenlighted the allocation of USD100million needed for the construction of a major international airport in Tamale, capital of  the Northern Region. The Ghana Airports Company (GACL), who will ultimately be responsible for the running of the facility once it is open, are still to approve the project's final designs, currently being done by an unnamed Brazilian firm, before construction can begin.

Tamale's current airport
Tamale's current airport (kasapa)
The disclosure was made by Minister of Transport, Dzifa Ativor, on the sidelines of the recently ended African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC) plenary session. 
“The design, feasibility and finance arrangement take a minimum of three years. So this was the process we were going through, and very soon [we will start]. They [the executing company] are bringing the final design for us to look at them. As soon as the design and finance are ready, then we can go through," said Doreen Owusu Fianko, MD, Ghana Airports Company Limited.

Government believes that the rehabilitation of Tamale Airport will develop a high level infrastructure by  optimizing the use of existing infrastructure to catalyze industrialization and rapid socio-economic  development in the Savanna regions.

The project, to be executed under a Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) arrangement, is estimated to cost about USD174million overall and will involve the construction of a new passenger terminal, upgrading various infrastructure present at Tamale Airport such as the airport's current runway, 05/23, which is 2'438m long, and will be extended to 4'000m metres. A new control tower, fuel terminal, Hajj terminal and an MRO facility are also planned.

With the region involved in both the agricultural and tourism sectors, government says it is looking for PPP-type investment in the development of export facilities catering for agricultural and horticultural products through the construction of  a perishable cargo terminal facility capable of serving the Sahel region.

Once upgraded, Tamale Airport is to act as an alternative to Kotoka International Airport, which is currently being upgraded, and a new international hub whose construction is set to begin on a 16'000 acre plot of land near Prampram in Dangbe-East District, near Accra.