Minister for Aviation, Hon Joseph Kofi Adda on Monday September 21 paid a working visit to the Airforce Base in the Western Regional Capital, Takoradi. In the company of the Regional Minister, Dr. Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, Hon Kofi Adda used the opportunity to inspect the progress being made on the renovation works being done at the airport terminal. It is the first time the terminal is receiving a major facelift since it was first built.
Addressing the press after his inspection, the Minister for Aviation who doubles as MP for Navrongo Central stated emphatically that the Aviation sector has been recognized by His Excellency the President, Nana Akufo Addo as an important element for economic development. He said it is the reason why the government has committed to expand aviation infrastructure and improve services.
“I have come on a tour of the Western Region and the Central Region to see the potential of these areas for aviation projects”, he said. He added that the Takoradi Airforce base cannot be overlooked because that is where aviation started in the country.
He also added that “the rehabilitation going on is being done largely by the Airforce division of the Ghana Armed Forces but the government is also supporting with resources. We have been able identify the things that are needed, in terms of money to support them to bring in gadgets and to do civil works and so on, and so forth. We have written proposals to the Ministry of Finance to help us to be able to support them”.
Hon Kofi Adda also mentioned that government has an eye on the land at Kejabil in the Ahanta West Municipality where an international airport is set to be erected. He detailed that plans are far advanced, as feasibility studies has been completed, and funding being sought. Subject to Minister of Finances’ approval, preparatory work should begin early 2021.
On the matter of cost of airfares in Ghana, the minister mentioned that he is in talks with the Ministry of finance to in the medium term, waive off some of the taxes in the sector. This will cause the fares to be reduced, which he believes will encourage the ordinary Ghanaian to consider transport by air, as it is a safer alternative.
On his part, Western Regional Minister, Dr. Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah iterated that transport by air is increasingly becoming popular among Ghanaians which makes it even important for the Ministry of Aviation to support the Airforce to make the airport safe to use by all and sundry.
The MP for Takoradi was also confident about the important role an improved and efficient airport would play in making the Western Region the number one spot for Tourism.
Air Vice-Marshal Frank Hanson, Chief of air staff at the airport who led the minister through the inspection touted the Takoradi Air Force Base as the bedrock of aviation in Ghana. He was hopeful that the expansion of operations at the airport shall lead to an increase in patronage by the general populace. When that happens, he is convinced that air fares shall go down too.