Ghana to build new airport at Prampram
The government is considering the option of building a new international airport at Pram pram in the Dangme West District in the Greater Accra Region to ease the pressure on the Kotoka International Airport (KIA).
The cost of the project is not yet known, but t is expected to run into millions of dollars.
The land for the project has already been identified and reserved, while processes are underway to complete the acquisition of the land.
The Minister of Transport, Alhaji Collins Dauda, made this known in Accra Monday after leading a delegation to visit the families of those who died in the plane crash at the Hajj Village near the El-Wak Stadium in Accra last Saturday.
He said air traffic activities at the KIA had increased over the years and that there was the need to construct another international airport in the green belt as an alternative to the KIA.
He indicated that a team of surveyors from the Survey department was already on the land working and as soon as the work was completed, the government would invite individuals and business entities interested in the project to come up with a conceptual design.
Alhaji Dauda said the government would adopt the design that would be desirable for the commencement of the project sooner than later.
He said while he appreciated the concerns raised by aviation experts in the wake of the disaster, he was of the view that the plane crash had nothing to do with location.
He argued that Ghana was not the only country that had its airport in the city and mentioned Heathrow Airport in the UK and the JFK Airport in the United States as examples of airports located at the centres of the cities.
He said what was important was to follow safety standards to avoid future crashes, adding that the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) was the best in the West African sub-region when it came to aviation safety.
According to him, a greater part of the land acquired for the KIA had been encroached upon with impunity and warned that the government would demolish the structures to ensure safety around the airport.
He said there were huge structures at East Legon which did not spring up overnight and appealed to the state agencies mandated to protect the land to be up and doing to avoid further encroachment on it.
Following last Saturday's plane crash, many experts had raised concerns over the sitting of the airport within the city and called for the construction of a new international airport to accommodate the heavy-duty aircraft currently patronising the KIA.
Dr Kofi Henaku, an aviation expert, said the crash should serve as a wake-up call, adding that the crash could have happened anytime.
But for the professionalism of institutions and expertise of the authorities in the aviation sector, including pilots, the country would have witnessed many of such accidents, he said.
Last Saturday, 10 people were killed by a cargo aircraft that skidded the runway at the KIA and crashed into a mini-bus near the El-Wak Stadium in Accra.
The aircraft, a Boeing 727-200 belonging to Allied Air, which had taken off from Lagos in Nigeria, was carrying general goods, including textiles, perfume and clothing from Nigeria to Cote d'Ivoire via Accra when the incident occurred about 7:00p.m.