The Minister for Aviation, Joseph Kofi Addah, has hinted that, closed down Sunyani Airport will be operational by the of this year. According to the Aviation Minister, the Airport which has been closed since 2015 due to problems on its runway, is to be rehabilitated and reopened by the close of 2019.
Tomhi, “It is not fair to the people in the Brong Ahafo Region to have been denied the services of commercial aircraft since 2015,” adding that the decision had to be taken to enable the airport to be opened for business.
He remarked, after inspecting the airport last Friday, that: “It is a very serious situation we are confronted with. Both the north and the south sides of the airport have difficulties. We have valleys, we have rivers and shrines and we have to, therefore, take a quick decision”.
Kofi Addah stressed that, “What we have seen today gives us the picture of what we need to be considered. We will make a recommendation to the Cabinet and find a way for the rehabilitation work to start as soon as possible”.
Giving details, the Aviation Minister pointed out that, the current length of 1.4 kilometres needs additional 500 or 600 metres to make it a standard airport for aircraft to land and take off. For this reason, the runway must to be extended from the northern and southern sides – he furthered.
The optimistic Minister noted that, engineers would consider whether to fill up the valleys or constrict overheads to get the required length and that would be completed by the close of the year for air transportation to resume in the region.
He, nonetheless was apprehensive over settlements on the sides of the airport, saying, “we will look at the situation. Whether they are right, or we are wrong had to be determined. If they are wrong, then they will have to move out; if they are right then we must give them the right that they deserve”.
Last month, the Minister for Aviation, Joseph Kofi Addah, made known, government’s commitment to constructing a new, befitting airport in the Brong Ahafo Region, due to some challenges frustrating efforts to expand the current Sunyani airport.
The situation, according to Aviation Minister, Joseph Kofi Adda, rekindles the option of constructing a new airport in the region to meet international standards. He said: “The extent of encroachment and settlement around the facility is such that we can’t expand and put up more buildings and hangars. Therefore, we have to engage the financiers and evaluate the facilities that will be required, and the associated terms as well as how best the Ghana Airport Company Limited (GACL) can recoup those monies and service the facilities”.
The minister made this observation when he led a team on a familiarisation tour of the Sunyani Airport. The team included his deputy – Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, aviation experts and engineers as well as other captains of the GACL and the Civil Aviation Authority. The minister and his entourage later inspected a designated airport land at Nsoatre, located on the shoulder of the Sunyani-Berekum highway.