Mrs Joyce Bawah Mogtari, Deputy Minister of Transport, on Wednesday said the construction of the state–of-the-art Terminal 3 building would commence at the Kotoka International Airport before the end of the year to accommodate the increase in passengers using the airport.
He said currently as part of the expansion project of the airport, arrival and departure halls were being expanded, new parking stands being constructed to take more wide-bodied aircrafts, with the taxiway also being resurfaced to include rapid exits to reduce runway occupancy time by landing aircrafts.
The Deputy Minister said this during the opening of a three day programme to mark the 26th International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers Association (IFATCA) for members in Africa and the Middle East with the theme “Creating Enabling Environment for Air Navigational Service providers to Perform”.
The meeting which was hosted by the Ghana Air Traffic Controllers Association was to enable members create a platform for discussions and brainstorming of current practices and challenges facing the aviation industry.
She noted that air transport played a major role in the fast transportation of passengers and cargo, thus driving sustainable economies, and directly or indirectly supporting employment and contributing to Gross Domestic product of nations.
She added that unmanaged air traffic growth could lead to increased safety risks if the growth overruns the regulatory and infrastructure developments needed to support it.
“However, massive infrastructure developments by stakeholders such as airport service providers, air navigation service providers, airlines, regulatory agencies, among others, come with a very huge cost and therefore need to be well coordinated,” she said.
Mrs Bawah Mogtari called on states to create the enabling environment for all stakeholders in the aviation industry to perform and also to ensure that all the interventions that the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) had put in place to accommodate the growth in the aviation sector by 2028 did not go to waste.
“I will urge you to endorse the implementation of ICAO’s Aviation System Block Upgrade (ASBU) as a long term safety measure that will assist states and industry stakeholders to ensure continuity, seamless airspace, harmonization of procedures and interoperability of Air Traffic Management system”, she added.
She intimated that the ceding of airports management functions from the then Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) to Ghana Airport Company Limited (GACL) had facilitated the GACL to focus on the consistent improvements of airport infrastructural developments in the country while the GCAA was serving well as the regulator.
She pledged the readiness of Government to support and upgrade the provision of vital state of the arts equipment in Ghana aviation sector to ensure effective and efficient provision of air transport service.
She said the runway extension at the Tamale Airport was also most completed as the first phase of the development project while plans were far advanced to roll out the second phase involving the building of a new terminal.
“The runway at the Kumasi Airport has also been resurfaced; Approach and Runway Edge Lighting Systems and Instrument Landing Systems have all been installed,” she said.
Mr Simon Allotey, Director General, GCAA, commended IFATCA for striving to maintain a high standard of professionalism and discipline among members to achieve the needed results required to propel the aviation industry in the country to be on the world’ s aviation map.
He urged members to come out with pragmatic measures by which the aviation sector could improve in their countries during deliberations.