The President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo has commissioned the Phase 1 of the rehabilitated Sunyani Airport for use by the traveling public.
The President was elated that, after 5 years of closure, the Sunyani Airport has seen its Phase 1 being completed and commissioned. He mentioned that the processes to kick start the Phase 2 was underway and that Government was not going to delay its start.
Addressing the gathering at the ceremony, the President said it was the vision of the Government to expand the frontiers of the aviation industry to achieve the mandate of the Ministry in making Ghana the Aviation hub of West Africa. He assured Ghanaians that all expansion works on Airports were going to be completed and commissioned.
The President cautioned encroachers on Airport lands to desist from it since it would hinder the future expansions of the Airports. He, therefore, called on The Ghana Airport Company Limited (GACL), Traditional Rulers, and the Lands Commission to ensure that properties belonging to Airports were safeguarded.
The Minister for Transport, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah on his part, noted that the commissioning was yet another demonstration of the Government’s commitment to fulfilling its vision of expanding the Aviation Industry in the country.
The commissioning of the Airport, the Minister said, was in line with the Government’s policy to establish an Airport in each region of our Country to improve air connectivity and boost trade and tourism. Therefore, the Ministry was committed and will continue to pursue strategies to make Ghana the Aviation hub within the West African sub-region and beyond.
Hon. Ofori Asiamah stated that the Ministry will continue to expand the capacity of our airports' infrastructure and services to respond to the growing demand. “As I speak, both the Kumasi and Tamale Airports were being upgraded into international status whiles the rehabilitation of the Wa Airport has been completed and opened for commercial operations”, he added.
He announced that feasibility studies were ongoing to develop an Airport in either the Central or Western Region or in between the two Regions. Preparation was also ongoing for the Government to partner with a Strategic Investor to establish a Home-Based Carrier to provide domestic and international travel.
The Ministry, the Minister noted, will continue to create the enabling environment to encourage private sector investments within the aviation space and look forward to the expansion of domestic operations across the country.
The Minister revealed, that during the construction of the airport, employment was created for artisans and other unskilled workers within the Region. He added that it was expected that, the re-opening of the airport will create even more job opportunities and boost economic activities for the indigenes and beyond, facilitate air connectivity to other Regions as well as promote trade and ecotourism.
Hon. Ofori Asiamah mentioned that Passion Air, one of the domestic carriers was finalizing modalities for the commencement of flight operations to Sunyani. “I am informed that the airline’s flight team has tested this newly completed runway and intends to commence operations from Sunyani to Accra immediately”, he stated.
The Minister commended the Contractor and Supervisors of the project for its successful completion and the people of the Bono Region for their patience during the period of construction.
The Regional Minister for the Bono Region, Mrs. Justina Owusu Banahene, and the President of the Bono Regional House of Chiefs, Osagyefo Oseadeeyo Agyemang Badu 11, thanked Government for the rehabilitation works and the commissioning of the Airport. They called on the people in the Bono enclave to make use of Air travel to cut down the long hours used on the road and for the Airlines not to stop plying that route because of lack of passengers