Ghana’s vision to become the aviation hub for West African will soon become a reality as the Ghana Airport Company Limited (GACL) commences operation of the magnificent, state-of-the-art Terminal 3 facility expected to be completed by the end of April, 2018.
The US$250million project, hosting 24 immigration counters and four E-gate positions, will operate four carousels and a fully automated baggage handling system expected to handle 3000 bags per hour.
Currently, 91 percent completed, the ultramodern facility with six boarding bridges and seven links is projected to handle five million passengers per year.
On an inspection tour, prior to completion, Minister for Aviation, Madam Cecilia Dapaah, praised the quality of work by the contractors, MAPA Construction MNG Holding of Turkey, nursing the hope it will enhance the vision for the Ghanaian aviation sector.
“It’s quite impressive, we’ve all seen it and hope it will place Ghana as the aviation hub for West Africa.”
The minister attributed the quality of work to “effective monitoring” emphasising the need for GACL to ensure the highest standards of maintenance of the facility.
She was particularly happy about the provision of a breastfeeding area for nursing mothers and a playground for children, but cautioned travellers who might carry narcotics and other unauthorised items to take note that the facility is fitted with a full body x-ray facility to detect such materials.
Managing Director of GACL, Mr John Attafuah, disclosed that actual commissioning will be done two months after handing over to allow for some remedial works to be completed.
“We expect that in the third quarter, this facility will be commissioned by President Nana Akufo-Addo and will be available for use” he indicated.
Senior Project Manager for MAPA Construction MNG Holding, Fernando Prieto, said the Kotoka International Airport can now have eight flights arriving simultaneously as each of the four carousels can handle two wide-bodied flights at a time.
He added that trained staff of the GACL will take over management of the terminal after the contractors phase out after a year of opening.
Terminal 3 features 56 check-in desks, 30 passport control counters, eight central screening security lanes and 22 airline ticketing offices.
It will also house a pre-screening area, two bus boarding lounges, a food court and two large business lounges.
Work on the five levels facility commenced on October 30, 2015 and when completed will host a retail area of about 7000m², a VIP terminal and a 700 car parking area.
By Godfred Tawiah Gogo