The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo is worried continuous encroachment of airport lands across the country is threatening the future expansion of facilities.

He wants the Lands Commission and agencies responsible for the protection of public lands to act and stop the practice.

Cutting sod for work to start on phase two of the Tamale Airport construction, the President said the practice is unacceptable and must be addressed.

“The widespread encroachment on airport lands must stop. The operators and regulators of our airports, as well as the Lands Commission, need to sit up and ensure that lands, belonging to the country’s airports, are managed properly and duly protected, not only for future projects of expansion but also for safeguarding lives and property,” he said. 

The construction of an ultra-modern terminal building, together with a multi-purpose Hajj facility, and other ancillary facilities, will provide the needed impetus for increased economic and trading activities and will reinforce the status of Tamale as a sub-Saharan hub for flights to and from neighbouring West African countries and the Sahel Region.

The Tamale International Airport, when completed, will also serve as a complement to the Accra Kotoka International Airport. Significantly, it is also expected that the completion of the project will make Tamale the centre of Hajj-related activities in the country, and will facilitate seamless travels from Ghana directly to Saudi Arabia for the pilgrimage to Mecca.

The President told the gathering that the 2nd Phase of the Tamale Airport project, estimated at a cost of $70 million, is expected to be completed in 30 months.

It will encompass the following elements design for the scope of works; construction of a modular airport terminal building of approximately 5,000 square metres, which is expandable in the future; construction of a Hajj facility of approximately 1,000m2; construction of a single carriageway access road; construction of landside and airside infrastructure adapted to the terminal size; and construction of water, power and sewerage infrastructure deemed necessary for normal operations.

“Funding for this project has been secured, made possible by facilities from UK Export Finance and KfW IPEX-Bank of Germany, for which we are grateful. Advance mobilization has been processed for payment to the contractors,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo added, “30 months is 30 months, and the contractors must deliver the project on schedule to avoid any cost overruns. Compensation has been paid to all persons and groups affected by this project, and, so, we anticipate a very smooth project cycle.”