Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia has commissioned the Tamale International Airport Phase II Project at a colourful ceremony in the Northern Regional capital.
Facilitated under the auspices of the UK-Ghana Business Council (UKGBC), established in 2018 and co-chaired by 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.
Speaking during the commissioning, the Vice-President expressed delight that four years on, the Tamale International Airport Phase II project had been completed.
He stressed that the project is 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-inforce the status of Tamale as a Sub-Saharan Hub Airport for flights to and from neigbouring West African countries and the Sahel Region. The Tamale International Airport will serve as an alternative to the Kotoka International Airport,” Dr Bawumia stated.
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, wastewater 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 $70m, the cost of works on the Tamale Airport Phase II Project is significantly lower than the $110m 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.
The Vice-President said the location of the airport within the Sahelian belt is expected to enhance access to market for the local agricultural 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.
He expressed the hope that other service providers will leverage the completion of this project to invest in other areas such as the establishment of Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facilities, the development of cargo facilities and cold stores for export of fresh produce and establishment of Aviation Training Organization (ATO) among others.
The expansion of the Airport is also strategic, Dr Bawumia added, 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 Bawumia further expressed concern about the widespread encroachment on airport lands, warning that “it threatens future expansion of our airports and could hamper rescue efforts in the unlikely event of an accident”.