President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo Thursday cut the sod for the commencement of the US$70 million second phase project of the Tamale Airport that is expected to be completed in 30 months.
The second phase consists of the construction of an ultra-modern terminal building, together with a multi-purpose hajj facility, and other ancillary facilities, expected to provide the needed impetus for increased economic and trading activities.
President Akufo-Addo said the project would reinforce the status of Tamale as a sub-Saharan hub for flights to and from neighbouring West African countries and the Sahel region.
President Akufo-Addo said the Tamale International Airport would encompass design elements for the scope of works; construction of a modular airport terminal building of approximately 5,000 square metres, which is expandable in the future; construction of a hajj facility of approximately 1,000 square metres; construction of a single carriageway access road; construction of landside and airside infrastructure adapted to the terminal size; and construction of water, power and sewerage infrastructure deemed necessary for normal operations.
“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,” he said.
“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 said, a host of other projects are on-going and these include second and third Phases of the 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 percent 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 said.
President Akufo-Addo called on 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.
He told the Yaa Na Mahama Abukari II, who was present at the event 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.”