Parliament have voted in favour of the waiver of taxes amounting to the Ghana Cedi equivalent of $20,953,066.69 for the purchase of materials, equipment and vehicles to construct the second phase of the Tamale International Airport.
The phase one of the redevelopment project of the airport was completed in 2016, and KfW IPEX-Bank GmH has agreed to finance phase two.
On July 24, 2018, Parliament approved by resolution the commercial contract agreement for the design and execution of the works between the Government and Construction UK Limited in the sum of $70 million for the phase two.
Section one, clause six of the contract agreement specified that the contract price does not include any taxes, duties and fees due the nation, and therefore puts the liability for the payment of taxes on the Government.
The $20.95 million waiver request is made up of $1,229,515.69 on local purchases and $19,723,551 on imports of materials, equipment and vehicles to be procured for the Tamale Airport project.
Government said the upgrade would allow the airport to handle international operations, and this is in line with Ghana Airports Company's strategic decision to make the Tamale Airport an alternative to the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) in Accra.
The government has said it intends to use the project to support the programmes of the Northern Development Authority as well as a base for direct seasonal Hajj (pilgrimage) flight between Ghana and Mecca in Saudi Arabia.
The project, when completed, will promote domestic air travel and support KIA's quest to become the gateway and an aviation hub in the West Africa Sub-Region.
Government indicated that the airport would also promote eco-tourism and cultural tourism by facilitating domestic and international travels for the exploration of the national historic heritage of the Savannah Region.
Meanwhile, government has said it is committed to constructing an airport in every region, and that the Sunyani Airport was undergoing rehabilitation which will be completed by the end of May 2020.
Minister of Aviation, Joseph Kofi Adda was said to have told the Finance Committee that the project, when completed, would be able to accommodate flights such as Passion Air and other non-jet flights.
“Unfortunately, the runway at the Sunyani airport is about 1,350m whilst jet powered aircrafts require runways stretching in excess of 1,700m.