Ghana is expected to experience an “exponential growth” in traffic from the current 2.3 million air passengers per annum after the new terminal at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA), christened Terminal 3, expected to be commissioned soon by the President of Ghana, commences operation.
Minister for Aviation, Madam Cecilia Abena Dapaah, projects a 50 percent rise in passenger traffic in the short term on account of the massive infrastructural development at the KIA,
Her optimism also stems from the experience of India having recorded such exponential rise in passenger numbers when the Asian giant commissioned a new terminal, incidentally called Terminal 3, at the New Delhi Airport, according to the Indian High Commissioner, Mr Birender Singh, when he paid a visit to the Minister of Aviation in her office.
The visit was to discuss a review of the Air Services Agreement between the two countries, initially signed in 1978, as well as share insights on how to optimise the benefits of Terminal 3.
The Minister expressed pride at the GHS274million Terminal 3 declaring, “it is now undisputed that KIA is the hub for West Africa.”
She assured that the expenditure on the facility would be justified by “vigorously pursuing more people to visit the country and its tourist sites.”
The Indian envoy on his part described KIA as “one of the finest in Africa” expressing the hope that the opening of Terminal 3 will boost the civil aviation industry in Ghana.
“After commissioning of Terminal 3 at New Delhi International Airport, we saw a phenomenal increase in tourist passengers from 2.3 percent in 2010, to almost 20 percent in 2017”, Singh disclosed.
He said the New Delhi International Airport is the 7th busiest airport in Asian recording 60 million air traffic passengers out of the 270 million recorded for last year.
“We have seen it happen in India and we are very confident that it will also happen in Ghana.”
In a related development, the Iranian Ambassador to Ghana, Dr Nosratollah Maleki, called on the Minister for Aviation to strengthen the bonds of cooperation in the aviation sector between the two countries.
He said Iran was expecting a memorandum of understanding developed to be carried through leading to the signing of an Air Services Agreement by both sides.
Dr Maleki also expressed the desire of Iranian businesses to explore opportunities in investing in technology within the aviation sector.
The Minister assured the Iranian envoy that Ghana recognises Iran as a partner in aviation and would work at further cooperation in the sector.
By Godfred Tawiah Gogo