The Ghanaian Minister of Transport, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, has confirmed that the ongoing Kumasi International Airport expansion project is on track to be fully completed this year and opened for service as soon as next year.
Speaking to media after a site visit, Asiamah said, ‘We expect the second phase of the project to be completed by June 2021, while the third phase which is concurrently ongoing, will be completed by the end of this year as well, transforming the facility into a fully-fledged international airport.’
The second phase of the Kumasi International Airport expansion project involves the construction of a new passenger terminal with the capacity to handle more than one million passengers per year. The scope of works for the third phase of the project on the other hand is the development of a 2,5522m2 terminal building extension, construction of a new fire station, new fire access road, and new air control tower. Other works include the development of a 9,000m2 car park extension, 4,200m2 access road extension, and two new boarding bridges. The scope of works on the airside includes a 7,731m2 apron extension, a 202,805m2 runway strip, and an airside service road.
On the sidelines of the Kumasi International Airport expansion project announcement, Asiamah disclosed that plans were far advanced for the commencement of the Kumasi Airport City project. He said that he had directed the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority to start the feasibility studies of the project and that the Ministry of Transportation would soon come out with the standards and design of the required facilities needed to be put in place and the cost involved.
In June 2018, President Nana Akufo-Addo cut the sod for the second phase expansion of the airport. The project, valued at about $300 million, comprised the extension of the runway from 1,981m to 2,300m to accommodate Boeing 737-800s, construction of a new two-story ultra-modern terminal, construction of additional aprons, restaurants, shopping, and parking areas, and a ring road around the airport. It’s expected that the new terminal will have the capacity to handle one million passengers per annum.
The expansion project was part of the multi-modal transportation system being developed by the government to enhance tourism in the Ashanti Region. Kumasi, the Ashanti regional capital, is the busiest domestic destination and it is served by both PassionAir and Africa World Airlines (AWA). PassionAir and AWA, for instance, operate 20 flights per day between Accra and Kumasi. Industry data show that in 2019, a total of 16,499 people traveled by air between the two cities.
The Ashanti Region is the most populous and one of the fastest-growing regions in the country, with an estimated population of four million.