Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has commissioned the Tamale International Airport Phase II Project in the Northern Region, indicating that the airport will serve as an alternative to the Kotoka International Airport.
Facilitated under the auspices of the UK-Ghana Business Council (UKGBC), established in 2018 and co-chaired by Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, the project is part of Government’s aviation sector infrastructure development programme designed to expand the frontiers of the aviation industry and to make Ghana the aviation hub within the West African Sub-Region.
Dr Bawumia, who broke ground on 15th of August 2019 for works to begin on the project, expressed delight that four years on, the Tamale International Airport Phase II project has been completed.
“This project is so dear to the Government and particularly the hard-working people of the Northern Region and its trading partners across the length and breadth of the country and the Sub-Region. The completion of this ultra-modern terminal building together with a multi-purpose Terminal and other ancillary facilities are expected to provide the needed impetus for increased economic trading activities and to re-enforce the status of Tamale as a Sub-Saharan Hub Airport for flights to and from neighboring West African countries and the Sahel Region. The Tamale International Airport will serve as an alternative to the Kotoka International Airport.”Dr Mahamudu Bawumia
Works undertaken at the Airport include an approximately 5,000 meter squared expandable ultra-modern Airport Terminal Building with annual passenger throughput of 400,000; a multi-purpose Terminal (Hajj Facility), 5km Single Carriageway Access Road; a 330 capacity car park, a Technical hub to manage electricity, waste water treatment and other essentials, as well as other ancillary facilities.
The features of the New Terminal Building include a VIP lounge; two Boarding Gates; two Self-Service Check-in Kiosks; eight Check-in Desks; Airline offices and Commercial Retail Areas.
At $70 million, the cost of works on the Tamale Airport Phase II Project is significantly lower than the $110 million cost incurred under Phase I, undertaken between 2014 and 2016, although the scope of works – extension of the runway by one kilometer, installation of lights and the partial fencing of the airport – were fewer.
Noting that the Northern Region is renowned for its vibrancy in agricultural and economic activities, the Vice President stated that the location of the airport within the Sahelian belt, also referred to as the food basket of Ghana, is expected to enhance access to market for the local agriculture produce, enhance tourism and attract passengers from neighboring countries.
“Indeed, government intends to use Tamale International Airport to support the programmes of the Northern Development Authority (NDA) of Ghana to harness fresh agricultural produce for export to other parts of the world and to generate employment and create wealth in this geographical zone. The boost in agriculture would be leveraged to support the development of Agro-based industries in Northern Ghana. The expansion of the Tamale International Airport is expected to serve as a catalyst for industrialization and rapid socio-economic development.”Dr Mahamudu Bawumia
Prospects of Tamale International Airport to the country
Furthermore, Dr Bawumia expressed hope that other service providers will leverage the completion of the project to invest in other areas such as the establishment of Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility, development of cargo facilities and cold stores for export of fresh produce and establishment of Aviation Training Organization (ATO), among others.
He explained that the expansion of the Airport is also strategic, as it will help ease the travel of Muslim faithful for the annual pilgrimage to Mecca.
“Significantly, it is also expected that the Tamale International Airport will make Tamale the Hajj hub in Ghana and facilitate seamless travel directly to Saudi Arabia for the seasonal pilgrimage to Mecca. It is gratifying to note that the multi-Purpose Terminal, which was completed in 2022, has been used in facilitating Hajj Pilgrims in 2022 and 2023.”Dr Mahamudu Bawumia
Meanwhile, the Vice President expressed concern about the widespread encroachment on airport lands, warning that it threatens future expansion of the country’s airports and could hamper rescue efforts in the unlikely event of an accident.
To this end, he underscored the need for operators and regulators of the airports, as well as the Lands Commission, to work closely together to ensure that airport lands are properly protected and well managed not only for future airport expansion, but also to safeguard lives and property in the unlikely event of an accident occurring at or around the airport enclave.
“I therefore charge the authorities involved to enforce the law and I also entreat all citizens to cooperate for us to fully benefit from the development of the aviation sector.”Dr Mahamudu Bawumia