US$100m contract for Tamale Airport upgrade

US$100m contract for Tamale Airport upgrade

The Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL) has signed a US$100 million contract with Brazilian construction firm, Queiroz Galvao, for the upgrading of the Tamale Airport.

The project, which specifically involves strengthening and widening the runway and extending it from the current 2,000m to over 4,500m to enable it accommodate the largest aircrafts, is the first phase of a plan to upgrade the Tamale facility into an international airport.

“This project will pave way for the upgrading of the terminal and other facilities which the private sector can take advantage of and we invite potential investors who would want to do business in Tamale to start talking to us now,” said Mrs. Doreen Owusu-Fianko, Managing Director of GACL.

“The terminal designs are almost ready and GACL’s vision is to ultimately establish Tamale as another aerotropolis,” Owusu-Fianko added.

The contract for the project, which is currently pending parliamentary approval, is expected to be completed in about 18 months from date of commencement.

Queiroz Galvao has presently mobilized some equipment to site for geotechnical service and the setting up of a working office.

The signing of contract culminates over a year’s discussions with Queiroz Galvao, which started with a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to spell out what exactly GACL wanted to do in the area of aviation development.

Ghana’s President John Mahama’s visits to Brazil, over the past couple of years, provided the opportunity for the promotion of the GACL’s investment profile to the Brazilian government to support the development of Tamale Airport.

Tamale is one of the most important destinations GACL is seeking to work on to upgrade into an international airport and to serve as an alternative to the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) in Accra.

Currently the alternatives to KIA are Lagos in Nigeria and Abidjan in La Cote d’Ivoire.

“Presently there are no maintenance facilitiesin the sub-region and Ghana is now playing the role of a hub, therefore Tamale has been identified as one of the best destinations for such facilities, especially because it is far away from the sea breeze of the south, which corrodes aircrafts,” Owusu-Fianko explained.

She said another reason for the Tamale Airport upgrade is that hajj is big business for the GACL and Tamale’s location makes it a good hub for the Sahelian belt.

“The SADA (Savannah Accelerated Development Authority) project would also benefit tremendously from an airport, especially for the exports of fresh agricultural produce under the project,” Owusu-Fianko concluded.