... in the next six years Kumasi, Feb. 19, GNA - The Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has acquired a 29,322 acres (6,516 hectares) at Ankaase and Kwaman in the Afigya-Sekyere and Kwabre districts to construct a second international airport in the country.
Construction of the airport to be financed by the private sector under the Build Operate and Transfer system is expected to begin within the next six years.
A public forum on the master plan studies of the project was held in Kumasi last Friday to provide an opportunity for people to express their views and make suggestions on the project.
The project has become necessary due to the inability to develop, extend or improve on the existing aerodrome in Kumasi as a result of the topography and urban structures within the vicinity. Speaking at the forum, Nii Adumansa-Baddoo, Acting Director General of GCAA, said construction of the new international airport would be done in three phases.
The first phase is development of the master plan, to be followed by the project designs before actual construction work begins. He said development of the second international airport in the Ashanti region was a commitment of the Government to promote ideals of sub-regional integration to ensure free movement of people, goods and services.
Nii Adumansa-Baddoo said it was vital for Ghana to make maximum use of its strategic location in West Africa to accelerate the development and improvement of its facilities in furtherance of the desire to accelerate economic integration of countries within the sub-region. He said the Board of Directors and management of GCAA were determined to play their role to ensure that the project was executed to its logical conclusion.
Mr Kwadwo Mpiani, Chief of Staff and Minister of Presidential Affairs who is also in charge of Aviation, said development of the aviation industry was important to the Government since the country was expected to be a gateway to the West African sub-region.
He urged people within the communities, to be affected by the project to cooperate with GCAA to ensure speedy execution of the project. Mr Sampson Kwaku Boafo, Ashanti Regional Minister said the project was dear to the hearts of many people in the region.
He explained that, the current tourism potentials of the region, the commercial centre of Kumasi, availability of natural and human resources coupled with business activities and road network, made Kumasi and its environs a strong and viable location for the project and commended the Government and GCAA for the initiative.
Mr Boafo said the project would impact positively on the economic and social activities of Kumasi and its environs and appealed to the people in the region to support it.
He advised landowners, farmers and chiefs who might be adversely affected by the project to be compromised with their expectations and demands to bring the project to fruition.