The Ghana Airport Company Limited (GACL) is to use the Terminal Two of the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) to accommodate domestic airlines.
This follows a successful transfer of all the international airlines from the Terminal Two area to the new Terminal Three facility, which was formally open to the international travelling public at the weekend.
The Managing Director (MD) of GACL, Mr John Dekyem Attafuah, in an interview with the GRAPHIC BUSINESS on September 15 in Accra, after the opening of the new Terminal Three, explained that there were efforts underway to renovate Terminal Two to pave the way for passengers to be moved from the Terminal One, which is presently being used for domestic airline travel.
“The Terminal Two, which used to house international airlines, is to be used for domestic flight only,” he said.
Mr Attafuah explained that before the migration of the domestic airlines to terminal two, the airport authority needed to undertake a number of structural changes to serve customers better.
“The move is part of an initiative to help improve the country’s position in the aviation space within the West African sub-region,” the MD of the airport authority said.
Asked what the Terminal One would be used for after the domestic airlines have been successfully migrated, he said the “airport authority is yet to decide on that.”
Additional domestic airlines
Although there are only two domestic airlines presently in operation, Mr Attafuah said four additional airlines would soon join the league of domestic airlines at terminal two when made operational.
Until few weeks ago when a new indigenous carrier, Passion Air, joined the game, the country’s domestic airspace was dominated by Africa World Airlines (AWA) after Starbow folded its operations.
Therefore, the coming on board of four additional airlines as indicated by Mr Attafuah would give options to the travelling public.
The MD was optimistic that this arrangement would help end shortage of options to patrons of the domestic aviation industry in the face of the growing demand for seats on AWA, due to the gap created by Starbow, Fly 540, Antrak and City Link.
According to him, passengers currently pay higher fares to fly with the two domestic airlines operating in the country. He was, however, confident that competition in the industry would help bring down the price of domestic air fares.
The opening of the new terminal saw hundreds of passengers in both arrival and departure departments of the terminal go through what many said was a rather smooth and stress free procedure.
The new terminal is easily the biggest and most modern of the three at the airport and is, therefore, the most important. The US$250 million project, which began on October 30, 2015, and was completed on June 29, 2018, can handle five million passengers per annum, thus averaging a little over 13,000 passengers a day.
A total of 1,250 passengers can be processed per hour. The facility also has an additional 7,000 square metres retail area.
It is equipped with six boarding bridges, a large commercial and retail area, three business lounges and purpose-built transit facilities.
Aggressive marketing approach
For his part, the Manager in Charge of Information Technology (IT) at the Airport Company of South Africa (ACSA), Mr Vishalan Govender, called on the government to use the new airport facility to attract tourists into the country.
That, he said, could be done through adopting a more aggressive marketing approach to attract tourists and also promoting the country as a brand separate from the airport.
“From a tourist angle, there should be a deliberate approach to showcase not only the airport but the country as a brand. This could be done easily by making the GACL, the brand ambassador to encourage business.
“Again, the Ghanaian culture is very rich and what the state needs to do is to package it well in a way that will attract people into the country,” he said.
He added that he was confident that the new facility would help expand the airline industry and further boost trade and investments into the country.
Mr Govender works for the Airport Company of South Africa (ACSA), the entity partnering Ghana with the construction of the new airport. ACSA was contracted to construct the airport used to host the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. — GB