The Aviation Minister, Joseph Kofi Adda, says government is working to secure investment worth billions of dollars to expand airport infrastructure as part of a bigger plan to make Ghana an aviation hub in the sub-region.
Joseph Kofi Adda, made this known to Citi Business News on the sidelines of a media engagement on Monday, ahead of the reopening of the Kotoka International Airport.
He says once money is available, they are looking at investment worth nearly three billion dollars which will also create employment.
“It is billions of dollars. It all depends on the areas that they pick. But if you look at it cumulatively, we are talking about between two to three billion dollars if we are really going to make Ghana an aviation hub, but it will take time and we don’t have the money,” he said.
The Aviation Minister also explained government’s decision to partner a private investor to manage the Kotoka International Airport.
“We are not selling or privatizing the airport. We do not have the management contract for any company to take over the airport. What we are working on is to ensure that we expand infrastructure to create more opportunities for Ghanaians. But the concern we have is that, we have to service the debt for this terminal. The Minister of Finance cannot solely carry the burden,” he added.
The Aviation Minister also disclosed that potential investors have shown interest in partnering government in putting up the much-talked about Cape Coast airport. The Minister however says a feasibility study into the project is ongoing.
“We have done some feasibility studies on the project. We have had a number of interested partners who have come to discuss with us. We are also looking at other parts of the country, so we are negotiating with them, so we can see what they can do for us,” he noted.
After the closure of Ghana’s only international airport to passenger travel in the wake of COVID-19 for nearly six months, the facility officially reopened to international flights on Tuesday, September 1, 2020.
Managers of the facility say they expect to receive about 1,200 passengers daily during its peak period.
The Aviation Ministry says special measures have been put in place to receive the large number of passengers expected in the country
The Minister is also hopeful the installation of COVID-19 testing devices at the Kotoka International Airport will ease pressure on the facility.
“We have been doing this in adherence to these protocols including the disinfection of the Airport. Sticking with the protocols therefore, will not be new to us on the reopening of the Airport. It is safe to say that it is the increase in the number of passengers that could pose a challenge and that is why the Ghana Airport Company supported by the Ghana Port Health Authority has put in place the special measures,” he said
Despite revenue losses and subsequent job cuts in the aviation sector, Mr. Adda says the Ghana Airports Company managed to keep its staff.
“While we in the aviation sector, have played our part to support the government’s efforts in this regard, such as reducing royalties as well as landing charges of aircrafts coming into the country, we have also managed to keep our staff in their jobs due partly to our own efforts as well as the package put together to support our staff,” he said.