The Minister of Transport, Mr. Mike Hammah on Wednesday cut the sod for the commencement of the phase three of the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) development project, estimated at 51 million dollars.
He noted that the construction of a new fire station which formed part of the project was expected to be completed by the end of the year.
“The construction of a modern fire station will enable the airport achieve the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) recommended response time of not exceeding two minutes to the end of the operational runway in optimum visibility during an emergency,” he said.
Mr. Hammah observed that the rehabilitation of the KIA had improved upon the aviation industry in Ghana, adding that the number of airlines at the facility had increased as a result.
He charged contractors on the project to do a “qualitative job that would ensure value for money”.
Mrs. Doreen Owusu Fianko, Managing Director of the Ghana Airports Company Ltd (GACL), said air traffic projections in Ghana indicated growth in aircraft movement from 15,225 in 2009 to 27,882 in 2024, with its accompanying passenger growth from 980,468 to 2,021,291 in that order, representing an average annual growth of 18 per cent.
She said cargo would grow from 60,550 in 2009 to 130,170 tonnes in 2024, representing 47 per cent growth over the projected period.
Mrs Owusu Fianko said against this back ground, it was necessary to continuously improve technical systems and infrastructure to match growth in the industry.
Touching on an ultra modern fire station under construction as part of the phase three project, she said the GACL placed high premium on rescue and fire fighting service, as enjoined by the provision of Annex 14 to the Convention of ICAO to which Ghana was a signatory.
The KIA phase three development project includes reconstruction of the taxiway pavements, apron pavements, installation of aeronautical ground lighting systems and fuel mains to the new aprons.
The rest are construction of a new fire station as well as apron drainage facilities.