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17.12.2008 Regional News

Tamale Airport upgraded to international status

By GNA
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The Tamale Airport has now been upgraded to the status of an international airport, with all the necessary facilities, at the cost of over 4.2 million dollars.

The facilities put in place include, the construction of a run-way, taxi ways and aprons, a terminal, a modified fire service building, rehabilitation of the tower building, a car park and a VVIP lounge.

Others are the provision of offices for the Customs, Excise and Preventive Services (CEPS) and the Immigration Services.

This was made known when the two contractors, who worked on the project, handed over the facility to the Minister for Aviation, Mr Joe Baidoe-Ansah in Tamale on Tuesday.

The two contractors were Focal Roads Limited and CONSUL Limited, with BANS Consult as the consultants.

Mr Baidoe-Ansah noted that the Airport had already received some international flights from South Africa, Tunisia and Angola during the CAN 2008 African Cup of nations and hoped that with the addition of more facilities it would now be in the position to fly pilgrims from the north straight to Mecca to perform the Hajj.

He commended the contractors for the good work done and impressed on them to always include in their handing over notes, maintenance schedules of the works they have completed, to ensure the “culture of maintenance”.

Alhaji Mustapha Ali Idris, Northern Regional Minister, appealed to the Aviation Ministry to consider upgrading the airstrips in Yendi and the Mole National Park to enable aircrafts to readily land to provide emergency relief items in times of disasters or the rapid deployment of forces to quell disturbances or riots.

He urged the Ministry to also identify other areas that would be suitable for the development of airstrips.

Alhaji Idris said with the upgrading of the airport and the possible construction of the Fulfulso-Damongo road, the transformation of the economies of the three Northern Regions would be enhanced. The Minister for Aviation later paid a courtesy call on Alhaji Abdulai Ziblim, the Regent of Gulpegu, who commended the government for the upgrading of the airport and the construction of a modern sports stadium, saying “they are promises fulfilled”.

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