Nana Addo honours Otumfuo Prempeh I …Names Kumasi International Airport after him

Otumfuo’s motorcade arriving at the commissioning event

The accolade “Addo Show Boy”, which characterises his resolve to fulfill promises, came to the fore last Friday when President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo commissioned the upgraded Kumasi Airport and christened it Prempeh 1 International Airport, after Otumfuo Agyemang Prempeh I.

The honour comes barely 93 years after the demise of the 13th occupant of the Golden Stool on May 12, 1931, having reigned for 41 years.

President Akufo-Addo and Otumfuo Osei Tutu exchange pleasantries

Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the Asantehene, who is observing the 25th anniversary of his ascension to the Golden Stool joined the President to do the singular honour, amid pomp and pageantry, to the admiration and excitement of Kumasi residents.

Commissioning the £66 million facility, President Akufo-Addo said the transformation of the Kumasi Airport into an international airport is a dream come true.

Nana  Akufo-Addo, explaining the rationale behind the renaming of the facility,  that “one of  Otumfuo  Agyemang Prempeh’s most notable  achievements was his efforts  to modernise and centralise the administration of the Ashanti Kingdom, introduce reforms to traditional  governing structures, establishing a more centralised system of authority and strengthening the power of the Asantehene and his council of chiefs”.

The front view of the new Prempeh I International Airport

The President also mentioned how Otumfuo Agyemanf Prempeh I streamlined governance and enhanced the ability of the Ashanti Kingdom to respond to external threats and international challenges and thus, leading to territorial expansion towards bringing more communities under Ashanti rule and influence.

He noted that the project “is not only critical for the government, but also very dear to the people of Ashanti Region. It will not only meet the needs of the people of Ashanti Region but also a symbol of development and progress.”

He added that “the airport will serve as an important gateway for forging economic ties, supporting international trade and tourism and promoting cultural exchange”.

The President and Asantehene presiding over the commissioning ceremony

With the commissioning of the Prempeh I International Airport, the era of moving to Accra, before boarding a flight to travel outside the country will soon be over for most residents in the Ashanti Region and the northern parts of the country, Nana Akufo-Addo noted.

The Juabenhene, Nana Otuo Serebour II, on behalf of the Asantehene thanked the President for redeeming his promise to the good people of Ashanti by completing the project, noting that the operation of the airport would make the cost of travelling cheap.

Transport Minister, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, indicated that the commissioning of the terminal and its ancillary facilities, such as the radar and the control tower does not mark the end of work, as they have to identify and correct any issue that may arise before commencement of full commercial operations by the end of June.

He said construction is still ongoing, with a taxi link and runway extension, which is expected to be completed between August and September, this year.

The Kumasi Airport, which originally served as a British Military base in 1943, has gone through a huge transformation over the past decade in three phases, to become fully operational at the end of June, this year, after equipment testing for both domestic and international flights.

Mrs. Yvonne Nana Afriyie Opare, MD – GACL

Prempeh I International Airport, formerly known as Kumasi Airport, was established in 1943 to serve as a Military base.

In 1959, key developments in the areas of runway and taxiway construction, navigational facilities and the deployment of the necessary human resources were rolled out to enhance operations. The building of a new terminal in 1993 marked the beginning of the modernisation process.

Mrs. Yvonne Nana Afriyie Opare, Managing Director Ghana Airports Company Limited, said the Phase One (1) consisting of the newly rehabilitated runway installed with Aeronautical Ground Lighting System was inaugurated on December 15, 2014 to pave the way for domestic airlines to commence night operations.

The dignitaries touring the facility

She said the Phase two (2), which was started in 2018, included the construction of a new terminal building to accommodate 800,000 passengers per annum, two boarding bridges, a road network, perimeter fence, a power sub-station and car parking lot among others, at a cost £66,350,000.

The GACL MD said the Phase three (3) of the Airport Expansion Project, which involves the extension of the existing runway pavement from 1,981 meters to 2,320 metres, construction of a new taxi link and two Apron Parking Stands, an Air Traffic Control Building and a Fire Station among others, will cost £58,900,000 totalling 125,000 Euros for the Phase 2 and 3.

Nana Akufo-Addo delivering his inaugural address

Mrs. Opare saw the Prempeh I International Airport as the gateway to the world and a catalyst for growth and answer to providing services to thousands of passengers who might have to travel to Accra to board international flights.

She announced that with ongoing collaboration and discussions with international partners, it is likely that the British Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Turkish Airways and the Kenyan Airways might land and take off in international flights from the Prempeh I International Airport in Kumasi.

At the commissioning ceremony were; the British High Commissioner to Ghana, Ms. Harriet Thompson, Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr. Keith Rowley and his Wife, Mrs. Sharon Clark Rowley, Ing. Charles Kraikue, Director-General of the Ghana Civil  Aviation Authority, Ministers of State, Members of Parliament, MMDCEs and Traditional rulers.


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