President John Dramani Mahama says government is working assiduously to get a new national airline established on a Public-Private-Partnership basis soon, after a successful prefeasibility study.

“Government’s plan to set up a new national airline under a PPP arrangement to support the policy-objective of establishing Kotoka International Airport (KIA) as an aviation hub is also on-going. It is my expectation, therefore, that Terminal 3 will play a pivotal role to support the operations of this new airline,” President Mahama said.
He was speaking at the sod-cutting ceremony to commence construction of a new terminal to be known as Terminal 3 (T3) at the KIA.

The process to establish a new national airline -- after the collapse of state-owned Ghana Airways -- started in earnest in 2014, and was financed using part of a US$30million PPP programme facility from the World Bank.

The Ministry of Transport after a tender process selected PwC -- an international consulting firm -- as the transaction advisor for establishing the new national carrier.

PwC has undertaken various business studies to determine the viability and ownership structure, developing various models and evaluating bids for establishing the new flag-carrier. It has since submitted its report to the ministry.

However, the World Bank in July 2015 withdrew its financial support for government’s initiative to establish a new national airline, following a review of the pre-feasibility report prepared by PwC and submitted to the supervising ministry for perusal.

An initial pre-feasibility report submitted to the World Bank for review and approval -- otherwise termed “no objection” -- came back with a decision not to continue funding the process, as the model contained in the report seem more commercial than a PPP arrangement

Government, however, is keen on going forward with the project in order to tap into the aviation sector’s growth in the country.

The new terminal, to be known as Terminal 3 (T3), is estimated to cost US$250million and be fully-funded by a loan secured from a syndicate of banks led by Ecobank Capital on the strength of GACL’s balance sheet.

The T3 project, according to the GACL, will provide a catalyst for attracting an increasing number of air carriers and passengers to Kotoka International Airport as an origin/destination airport, as well as a transfer hub for other West African destinations.

The new terminal 3 fits into the corporate vision of GACL, and falls in line with government efforts to transform the aviation industry in Ghana.

Some of the outstanding features include capacity to handle 5million passengers a year, process 1,250 passengers per hour, six boarding bridges, large commercial & retail area, and three business lounges

“With the completion of T3, KIA will be the most attractive aviation destination in West Africa. Accra is already a preferred hub for many airlines. There is increasing interest from other airlines to base their hubs at KIA. Turkish Airways is already flying daily from Ankara to Accra. They intend to double this to 14 flight a week. I believe this will enhance business relations between our two countries.

“The project contractor, MAPA, has already mobilised to the site, and I urge them to execute the project with precision and be on time. I wish to caution against delays and the attendant cost over-runs,” President Mahama said.

Terminal 3 is expected to be completed in July 2017.

Source: B&FT Ghana
 


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