The Minister of Transport and Aviation, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, has hinted that the government is considering a further upgrade of the Tamale Airport to full international status. This is in spite of the US$80million Phase II project currently ongoing at the place.
The Phase III project, according to the Minister, is expected to commence soon. Even though the phase II project is now 57 per cent complete, the Minister says the phase III will begin soon so that the two projects will be ongoing concurrently.
The expansion of the airport to an international status is to boost economic potential of the northern belt, regarded as the bread basket of the country.
Mr Asiamah said this when he paid a working visit to Tamale on Friday. The visit was to acquaint himself with the level of development of the phase II.
The phase III will involve the expansion of the main multipurpose terminal, which is approximately 5,508 square meters, as well as the addition of other facilities. The cost of the project is not immediately known, but the Minister says the technical experts from the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority and the Ghana Airports Company Limited are working hand in hand with the contractors, QGMI, a Brazilian construction firm, and the project consultant, Ecobuild Consult, to determine the cost.
Government, he noted, will immediately look for funds to finance it, believing that it is economically viable and profitable for phase II and III of the project to be done simultaneously.
“Per the advice from the project consultant in terms of cost effectiveness, it will be better to have the phase III. We believe that we can combine the two phases as we’ve done for Kumasi Airport. It will be viable; it will be profitable; and there will be less cost for us. I believe that we will be able to meet the demands that the engineers and consultants are asking us so that we can achieve the purpose that we set for ourselves to do,” he noted.
The Minister, as part of the visit, inspected the project design, which is 80 per cent complete; the main terminal, 57 per cent complete; a multipurpose building, 61 per cent complete; bulk utility, 41 per cent complete; and the access road and car park, which is 38 per cent complete.
The bulk utility comprises an underground firefighting reservoir, a portable water tank and a wastewater treatment system.
Mr Asiamah expressed satisfaction at the level of work done.
The project consultant, Ecobuild Consult, told the delegation that the upsurge of COVID-19, which culminated in the closure of airports and borders, have had some adverse effect on their supply chain.
However, he said, efforts are being made to complete all the procurement processes required for all the facilities.
The Regional Airport Manager, Michael Omari, said he is hopeful the project would be completed on schedule.
“The economic potential of this airport is huge, and so we are going to market it well with a special focus on cargo services. Tamale and its surrounding communities are hubs for animal husbandry, horticulture and agro-based products. Cargo delivery of these products to neighbouring countries will fetch us some good money,” he said.