President Mahama congratulates GACL Board and Management

Accra, March 2, GNA – President John Dramani Mahama has congratulated the Board and Management of the Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL) for successfully raising funds for the construction of the new Terminal Three building at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA).

‘I congratulate the Board and Management of GACL, for raising all the needed funding for this project on their own balance sheet, without recourse to the central government purse,’ the President said.

President Mahama said this in Accra, when he and the visiting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, performed a sod cutting ceremony to mark the commencement of work on the new Terminal Three building.

He urged all other state owned companies, oranisations and institutions to emulate the example of the GACL, because that greatly enhanced national development and growth.

Touching on the ceremony, President Mahama said the aviation industry continued to employ many people and also generated a great measure of wealth.

‘The sector continues to grow and government is committed to providing the necessary support to improve the sector,’ said the President.

President Mahama noted, that an air transport action group report revealed that globally, the aviation industry supported 58 million jobs, and 2.4 trillion dollars in economic activities annually, adding that it was estimated to move about 35 percent of world trade by value.

The International Air Traffic Association estimates there would be over 6.5 billion air passengers by 2032 to generate about 103 million jobs and 5.8 trillion in economic activity, President Mahama said, adding that a strong aviation sector no doubt would boost Ghana’s economic potential and make it more viable and efficient in global competition.

‘Growth in this sector would generate more jobs and have far reaching economic gains for the country,’ he said.

The government’s rehabilitation of aviation infrastructure in the country was thus timely and focused on the future, President Mahama said, adding that the government also aimed towards building one aerodrome in every region of Ghana, to open up the country economically and also facilitate medical and emergency evacuation services.

‘This ceremony forms part of the series of infrastructural projects lined up to enhance aviation services. The ultra-modern terminal three facility to be constructed, would consist of a five level facility expanding to 45,000 square meters with the capacity to process 1,250 passengers per-hour,’ said President Mahama.

The President added that, it would have a large retail and commercial area, six modern bridges, three business lounges, and the terminal would have the capacity to handle five million passengers a year.

He said the project was expected to be completed by the end of July 2017, adding, ‘with the completion of terminal three, KIA would be the most attractive destination in West Africa.’

President Mahama said Accra was already a preferred hub for many airlines, and the government planned to set up a new national airline under a public private partnership arrangement to support the policy objective of making the Kotoka International Airport as an aviation hub.

‘It is my expectation therefore that terminal three would play a pivotal role to support the operations of this new airline. There is increasing interest in other airlines to extend their operations to KIA, and as I spoke with president Erdogan today, Turkish Airways is already flying a daily flight from Ankara to Accra.

‘They intend to double this to 14 flights a week from Turkey to Ghana, and this would enhance business relations between the two countries,’ President Mahama said.

President Edorgan expressed the hope that ‘this ground breaking ceremony would yield great benefits for Ghana’.

He said ‘we are proud that a Turkish company is building this new terminal. The KIA would be able to connect to the world in a different way, once this building is completed.’

President Erdogan said his visit had afforded the two countries the opportunity to forge ahead in a mutually beneficial partnership.

‘We addressed over 150 business people and decided to collaborate in a number of areas including agriculture, transportation, and anti-terrorism,’ he said.

President Edorgan, who was in the country for a two day official visit, has since departed.

GNA


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