Sod-cutting for Central Region airport scheduled for later this year — Consultant

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Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the sod-cutting of the magnificent Central Regional Cargo Airport will come off later this year, Mr Leslie Alex Ayeh, a Senior Partner at Ayeh and Ayeh, the Consultant working on the project, has said. 

He said the government together with stakeholders were working diligently to actualise the construction of Ghana’s biggest cargo airport to be sited near Komenda in the Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem (KEEA) Municipality of the Central Region.  

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency on Thursday, Mr Ayeh said focusing on cargo, tourism, and aviation excellence, the facility would become Africa’s foremost centre for large-scale repair of aircraft and training of personnel, to provide rapid response when disasters occurred. 

“The project will have an aircraft repair centre to be the only one in West Africa to serve the entire sub-region.” 

Currently, there were only two of such facilities in Africa; one in South Africa and the other in Ethiopia,” he said. 

Outlining the scope of plans done so far, he could not give the actual cost of the project but said the government had advanced in its funding arrangements. 

He indicated that a stakeholders’ engagements had been done and the scoping report sent to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for consideration. 

Again, there would be a transparent international bidding process, award of the contract and the sod-cutting for work to begin immediately. 

On the issue of compensation, he explained that the affected people had been re-evaluated and reduced from 2000 to 200 due to some financial and other considerations. 

In this regard, the number of hectares envisioned had also reduced from 2,400 hectares to 1,700 hectares as the Lands Commission worked tirelessly to ensure value for money. 

Allaying the fears of the community about the project’s economic viability and possibility, he gave the assurance of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s commitment and desire to ensure a more vibrant project with an expanded scope of a cargo-focused facility. 

The move, he said, was in tandem with the government’s economic transformation agenda to give a strong boost to intra-Africa trade through the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCTA). 

Mr Ayeh said the project would facilitate tourism, trade, and connectivity to foster economic growth, job creation, poverty alleviation and improved standard of living.  

With the strategic location of Ghana in global trade, the facility, he said, would become a vehicle to converge the 54 African countries into a single market of 1.3 billion people through the ACFTA.   

Aside from enhancing more intra-African trade in industrial goods, he was optimistic it would promote Ghana’s industrialization and the advancement of its manufacturing sector and provide more employment opportunities for the growing youth population.  

It would also entice global business giants to participate in the ready market due to the prime location of the region.  

Touching on the siting of the project near Komenda instead of Cape Coast, Mr Ayeh presented a baseline study of geographical, topographical, and layouts of six different locations. 

These locations comprised of two each at Takoradi, Komenda, and Cape Coast, the team of experts identified the best location to be Komenda due to largely topographical issues. 

“An in-depth spatial survey was carried out on these sites and a site near Komenda was chosen as the best location based on social, environmental, and economic indices,” he said.  

Towards easing commuting challenges, the Takoradi-Cape Coast highway would be converted into a double carriageway as part of the project, and a railway line constructed to link the two cities to carry goods to and from the Cape Coast Airport to the Takoradi Harbour to ease the pressure on the road. 

Other benefits would be the establishment of an aviation school to provide air transport training for effective civil aviation management services, he said.  

Source: GNA

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