The quest to make the country the aviation hub of West Africa was given a fresh impetus when the sod was cut for work to begin on the Terminal 3 building at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) in Accra Tuesday.
President John Dramani Mahama, who was joined by the Turkish President, Mr Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, to perform the ceremonial sod cutting, described the project as a “transformation project.”
“Already, KIA is the preferred choice of many airlines and with the completion of the project, KIA will be the most preferred aviation destination in West Africa,” the President added.
The $ 250 million project, being financed by the Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL), is expected to be completed in July 2017.
On completion, it would be able to handle five million passengers a year.
President Erdoğan’s participation in the sod-cutting ceremony was significant since a Turkish company, MAPA Construction and Trade Company, is the main contractor.
President Mahama expressed delight in the project, which he said fitted into the government’s efforts to transform the aviation industry.
He said the fact that the aviation industry continued to grow steadily was a testament to the government’s commitment to the sector.
Stressing the importance of the aviation industry, the President said, “a strong aviation industry will boost Ghana’s economic potential.”
President Mahama expressed the hope that on completion, the terminal would create jobs for the people.
He said the government’s vision to get at least one aerodrome in each region was on course.
“This is just one of the series of infrastructure lined up to transform the aviation sector,” he added.
Touching on the financing, the President said GACL had showed what the Ghanaian public company was capable of doing.
He commended the company for the move and urged others to emulate the example.
He also expressed the hope that the contractors would do a very good job.
In his remarks, President Erdoğan said his country was proud to be associated with the project.
“I believe that with the Terminal 3, Accra will be able to connect to the world in future,” he stated.
Giving further details on his visit to Ghana, he said he had fruitful discussions with President Mahama.
“Turkey and Ghana reached a decision to walk into the future hand-in-hand,” he added.
The Board chairman of GACL, Mr Tony Lithur, was full of praise for President Mahama for his visionary leadership and support to the company that had led to major transformation.
He said the company was positioning itself to expand its operations for the benefit of the nation.