Minister asks international airlines to review fares downward

Alhaji Collins Dauda, Minister for Transport, has called on international airlines, operating in Ghana, to review their fares downward in order to allow more people to patronize air transport.

He said the high fares charged by the airlines from Ghana to other parts of the country compared to those charged by countries for flights travelling the same number of hours and thus same fuel showed that those charged in Ghana were relatively higher and added that    “Clearly there’s unfairness in the market”.

Mr. Dauda made the call at the inauguration of  a new fire station to climax  the Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL)’s fifth anniversary celebrations.

He also urged all airlines to give equal and fair treatment to all Accra bound passengers as pertained in other areas.

Alhaji Dauda stated that the aviation sector in Ghana played a critical role in the quest to develop Accra as a hub for air transportation in the West African sub-region to open the country for the development of agriculture, trade and tourism.

The fire station, he said was” a measure to improve and rescue fire fighting services to meet ICAO recommended response time of two minutes from the centre to both ends of the runway in times of emergency.”

Mrs. Doreen Owusu-Fianko, Managing Director of the GACL, outlined achievements of the company over the past five years.

She said: “Some of our modest but significant achievements in the past few years include the construction of three additional boarding gates, parking aprons and taxiways to accommodate wide-bodied aircrafts, implementation of passenger facilitation technologies (SITA)and enterprise resource planning technology”.

Mrs. Owusu-Fianko said the new fire station was part of the phase three KIA development project, and aside from having ten appliance bays, 15 metre hose drill tower, a foam shed and an underground water storage tank with a capacity 250,000 litres among other things, the facility was also equipped with state-of-art rescue fire tenders, extricate tools and an aircraft recovery engineering system with the capacity to salvage disabled aircraft up to B747-400 series.

“This has enhanced the professional competencies of the RFFS and raised the status of preparedness of the KIA for emergencies” she stated.

Mrs. Owusu-Fianko said the GACL was also developing other projects at the airports under public private partnership which includes a transshipment cargo centre, new airline office complex, multi-storey car park, airport business centre with four to five star hotels and shopping malls, upgrade of Kumasi and Tamale airports and a world-class specialist medical centre among others.

“The compelling justification for these ambitious but necessary projects is that Ghana’s aviation industry stands as one of the fastest growing and perhaps most competitive in the West African sub-region”.

She said: “we are conscious of the fact that our airport is a strategic national asset and as such we have a duty to ensure its safety and security in collaboration with our relevant agencies at the airport”.

Source: GNA

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