The Minister of Aviation, Ms Cecilia Abena Dapaah, says Ghana is on course to become the aviation hub in West Africa.
She said the expansion of the airports in Accra, Kumasi and Tamale, as well as upgrading of airports in other parts of the country, were meant to enhance international and domestic travels.
The minister was speaking to the Netherlands Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Ron Strikker, who had called on her in Accra. She indicated that enhancing the aviation industry would also attract investors to Ghana and boost businesses.
“Developments are ongoing at the Kumasi and Tamale airports. A maintenance repair and overhaul centre for servicing aircraft is being constructed at the Tamale airport so that aircraft would not have to source such services outside Ghana,” she said.
Additionally, she said, a tank farm to stock aviation fuel and a cold store for the storage of perishable goods before they were airlifted were under construction at the Tamale airport.
Ms Dapaah said the runway at the Sunyani airport would also be developed as part of plans to promote tourism and the domestic air travel business.
She commended the Dutch government for its support to Ghana’s development.
For his part, Mr Strikker expressed the Netherlands government’s commitment to support the growth of the aviation industry in Ghana.
The Dutch government, he said, was pursuing an ambitious programme with an objective to move from aid to trade, and was supporting the government in the area of agriculture, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), as well as the development of the private sector.
The first secretary of the Netherlands Embassy in Ghana, Mr Thierry van Helden, who accompanied the ambassador, expressed worry that exporters of horticultural products had to go through 17 different inspection agents at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA).
He called on the minister to work at reducing such processes as they tended to affect the importers, especially those who dealt in perishable goods.
“Removing the inspection agents will serve as a stimulus for trade facilitation,” he said.
Ms Dapaah and Mr Strikker exchanged gifts after which Mr Strikker invited the minister to the Netherlands’ National Day reception on March 27 and a Cultural Week celebration on March 28, 2017.