President John Mahama has announced that following consultations he had with the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), on the cost of aviation fuel in the country, it had agreed to reduce it by 20 per cent.
President Mahama made this known when he inaugurated the Ghana Civil Aviation Training Academy (GCAT) at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) in Accra yesterday.
The President, who was also at the KIA to inaugurate the refurbished arrival hall of the airport, inspected the international arrival tunnel, the port health facility, the visa on arrival facility and the passenger transit facility.
The visit also took him to the data centre, the arrival baggage reclaim facility and customs division.
He noted that the government’s vison of making Accra the preferred aviation hub in West Africa was on track, adding that the phenomenal increase in traffic into Accra, particularly transit traffic, coupled with the expansion of the Kotoka International Airport (KIA), gave credence to the fact that Ghana was becoming an attractive destination.
Addressing officials of the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) ahead of the inauguration of the academy, the President underscored the need for the airport management and air navigation and regulation services to work together to move the airport forward.
He lauded the Ghana Ports and Habours Authority (GPHA) and the Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL) for being examples of best practices of state enterprises, having used their internally generated funds for expansion works of their respective facilities.
President Mahama being conducted round some facilities at the arrival hall by Mr Tony Lithur, Board Chairman of Ghana Airports Company Limited
President Mahama expressed his satisfaction with his visit to the various facilities and was particularly impressed with the expansion of the immigration counters that had increased from 12 to 26 and the expanded baggage capacity with increased carousels.
The President told the gathering that training and retraining were critical in air traffic control for which reason he urged the GCAA to nurture the academy to become a centre of excellence.
“Accra flight information regime is reputed to be one of the safest in the world because of the dedication of the staff at the GCAA,” he said.
President Mahama also visited the construction site of the Terminal three project which began in March 2016.
The project is a part of the Ghana Airport Company’s capital investment programme that involves the construction of a new terminal at KIA and the rehabilitation of other regional airports managed by the GACL.
The new terminal will ease the pressure on the existing two terminals and is expected to contain up to five million passengers a year, with an expansion potential of up to 6.5 million passengers. Construction of the new terminal is expected to be completed by the end of 2017.
President Mahama inspecting an expansion work at the arrival hall. With him are Mr Fifi Kwetey (left), the Minister of Transport, and Mr Tony Lithur
The airport expansion is in line with the country’s ambition to upgrade its vital infrastructure by modernising and transforming the airport into a gateway for West Africa and as a regional aviation hub. It is also expected to contribute to the country’s economy by facilitating market connectivity and reducing the cost of doing business.
Earlier, the Minister of Transport, Mr Fifi Kwetey, and the Director-General of the GCAA, Mr Simon Allotey, who accompanied the President, in separate remarks, had unanimously said that Ghana had the potential to become an aviation pivot in the sub-region.
While Mr Allotey stated that the country currently had the best safety records and one of the best in Africa due to its safety regime, Mr Kwetey said the construction of the academy was to run aviation training programmes in Ghana that would boost the human resource capacity of airport personnel.
The front view of the GCAA Training Academy.