The new Terminal Three (T3) of the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) is on course to be handed over to the Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL) by the end of April 2018, providing a major boost to Ghana’s aviation industry.
Mrs Cecilia Abena Dapaah, Minister for Aviation, who toured the facility for the fourth and last time before handing over, said she was satisfied with the progress of work done on the Terminal.
“It’s quite impressive; you’ve all seen it, and we hope it will place Ghana on the map as the aviation hub for West Africa,” she said. She commended the quality of work done by the contractors on the facility, as well as the monitoring done by the GACL, and urged the contractors to continue to deliver quality until the Terminal was completed.
She also tasked the contractors to ensure that they provided an area for nursing mothers, as well as a playroom for children. She also advised the travelling public and the GACL to ensure that the Terminal was well maintained once it came into use, especially, in light of the cost of the project, which currently stood at $274 million.
“We need to appreciate what we have and make sure that we, the users, and the ones taking care of the facility, are up and doing to give us the best,” she said, adding that maintenance measures will also be clearly spelt out before handing over.
Mr John Attafuah, Managing Director of the GACL, said construction was expected to be completed by end of April, after which remedial works would be done before the commissioning phase, which was expected to take about two months.
“We expect that sometime in the third quarter of 2018, this facility will be commissioned by the President and available for use,” he said.
He said the GACL was looking forward to the airport hitting its maximum passenger capacity soon, in light of recent growth in passenger numbers.
“Ghana is well-placed. Last year alone, we saw a 6.5 per cent growth in passenger numbers, and we expect that this year we’ll do even better, and for this country to take its place as the hub for West Africa,” he stated.
Mr Fernando Prieto, Senior Project Manager of MAPA Construction MNG Holding, contractors on the project, said the new T3, among state-of-the art facilities, will include 10 E-Gates.
With the installation of the E-Gates, the Ghana Immigration Service will implement the E-Gate system, where Ghanaian nationals, who sign up for the service, will be able to just scan their passports to enter the country without having to speak with an immigration officer.
“It speeds up the process and is extremely secure, because all of that is connected to a computer that will monitor everyone,” he said.
Mr Prieto said the new terminal was equal to any terminal anywhere in the world and would have about 56 check-in counters and 24 self-service kiosks in the departure area to accommodate the numbers as travel develops.
Security will also be paramount in the Terminal, as all entrances will be monitored to ensure that unauthorised persons, including off-duty staff, do not get into the building.
All goods and food coming in to restaurants and shops will also be screened before being allowed into the building.
Other facilities include six loading bridges, which can be expanded to eight, four baggage carousels, which can be also be expanded to six.
“You can have as many as 12 flights coming in at the same time. We’re heading in that direction. The growth in the airport is such that the need is going to be there,” he said.