Ghanaians can be assured of a new national carrier in the next two years in line with the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP’s) vision to make Ghana an aviation hub in West Africa, the Minister designate for Aviation, Ms Cecelia Abena Dapaah, has stated. Pledging her commitment to obtain a national airline for the country as one of her immediate priorities as a minister, she said the country was losing out as a result of the absence of an airline to benefit from the market share of seven billion airline passengers in Africa. She therefore, gave a timeline of between a year and two within which a new national carrier could be obtained. Ms Dapaah, who was answering questions before Parliament’s Appointments Committee yesterday, said she had sighted a document that could aid the government in the country’s quest to own a carrier. The last national carrier the country owned was Ghana International Airline but its operations were shortlived when it became defunct around 2006 and since then the country has not had a national airline, in spite of efforts by successive governments to have one for the country. She told the committee that she had held discussions with officials of Ghana Airports Company and Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCCA) on how to effectively collaborate to achieve that objective, stressing, “Ghana is ripe to have its own carrier.” Domestic carriers Responding to queries on the domestic aviation industry and its difficulties, the minister designate stated that domestic airlines were going through stress because of the imposition of the 17.5 per cent tax on the sector and gave an assurance that in accordance with the New Patriotic Party (NPP) manifesto, that tax component would be abolished to give relief to the sector. Ms Dapaah, who was a Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing in the Kufuor administration, questioned why taxes on the spare parts of international and bigger carriers were removed while that of the domestic airlines were still in place. She also spoke about the fact that the high cost of aviation fuel as well as handling charges and the leases they went into contributed to the difficulties the sector was currently facing. Ms Dapaah gave an assurance that if approved by Parliament, she would hold a meeting with all the domestic airline operators to brainstorm the way forward to save the fortunes of the sector from dwindling further. Collaboration She gave her commitment to make the Metrological Services Agency and the Ghana Airports Company to partner effectively to ensure that the former was adequately funded to enable it to forecast properly for aviation safety. On the issue of continuing with projects initiated by the Mahama administration, the nominee assured the committee that work on the various airports in the country would be continued and mentioned ongoing projects at the Wa Airport and promised that work on the Ho runway would begin soon. Ms Dapaah equally touched on the Tamale Airport and said when it was fully completed, the airport would be a hub in the Sahelian region. Regarding the Kotoka International Airport, she said a new terminal to take five million people per year was being built. She gave the total cost of the Tamale Airport project as $170 million while the Ho Airport project stood at $25 million with the second phase costing $70 million. The new terminal at the Kotoka International Airport, she indicated, cost $274 million
A peaceful, secure & prosperous nation, providing sustainable jobs through industralization for transformation: Read More.
CHANGE AN AGENDA FOR JOBS, Creating Prosperity & Equal Opportunity for All: Read More.
The first national asset of any country is its people, and they make their own history in the process of labouring to control and appropriate nature:Read More.