in Air Transport / Features

Ghana accelerates its transformation

Posted 2 March 2020 · Add Comment

Ghana’s aviation authorities see huge growth potential in Africa’s air transport industry and have taken giant strides to position the sector to serve as the nation’s economic driver, with the mission of developing a regional aviation hub. Chukwu Emeke reports.

Ghana has initiated plans for a dedicated programme, dubbed ‘aviation-driven developments’ which seeks to use aviation as a driver for socio-economic transformation.
It will see, among other things, the creation of an MRO facility at Tamale International Airport, construction of cargo facility, development of an aviation training organisation for pilot training, and construction of state-of-the-art control tower at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA).
Joseph Kofi Adda, Ghana’s Minister of Aviation, said: “Once we have been able to modernise our infrastructure and make it attractive, it will bring more people to support us in terms of economic development.
“Another area is service provision; we need to keep training the people.
“Capacity development is equally important for us; we need to be more efficient for a lot of people to come to Ghana and Africa in general.”
Ghana’s aviation industry has seen considerable growth in recent years. International passenger numbers have grown by 6.7% as of September 2019, compared to 2018. Air freight movement has also increased by 5.9%.
Currently, 38 airlines are operating in Ghana and they connect directly to 30 different destinations around the globe.
Some 1.3 million tourists visited Ghana in 2017, and the industry contributed $2.5 billion to the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2018.
International aircraft movements increased from 15,723 in 2007 to 29,015 in 2018, while domestic aircraft movement went up from 10,091 in 2007 to 10,140 in 2018.
The new $275 million KIA Terminal 3 building was opened in September 2018, giving the airport a base on which to build its hub model. The flagship airport handled 2.5 million passengers in 2017 and is designed to handle five million.
After the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) concluded its coordinated validation mission in April 2019, Ghana obtained an effective implementation rate of 89.89%, the highest by an African country.
Adda said all the documentation needed for the establishment of Ghana’s new national airline had been concluded and that the government’s final approval was the only thing outstanding. “When that is done, the airline will be aboard,” he said.
He appealed to all stakeholders to work towards attracting more travellers to Ghana, in particular, as well as the entire continent of Africa. “We have to work on the economics to make sure that the people can afford the disposable income they need and be able to fly. The airlines also need to work on making sure that port fees and charges are brought down to a minimum level for them to be able to maintain the good services they are providing and also, to make the tickets affordable to boost flying in Africa,” he said.
He urged his counterparts in the sub-region to embrace the single African air transport market (SAATM) initiative and support its implementation, especially as some airlines in west Africa have complained of regulatory resistance to their efforts of practical implementation, which come in form of outrageous charges and conditions.
“It is our duty, as government operatives, to ensure that we look through this matter seriously and try to address the issues that are involved,” said the minister. “Governments across west Africa, and Africa in general, have a role to play in making sure that we overcome the regulatory regime and should be friendly enough to accept airlines from other countries.
“And, if the airlines and the airports will work on the other things required to make sure that everybody participates, that is fine. The more the numbers come from the passenger levels, the more every country can make progress.”
 

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