President Nana Akufo-Addo commissioned Prempeh I international airport on Friday

President Nana Akufo-Addo has reiterated his commitment to continuously silence his critics with projects as he officially opened the Kumasi Airport now renamed Agyeman Prempeh I International Airport.

He reaffirmed his pledge to implement policies and undertake projects that would help alleviate the suffering of the people and also stimulate economic growth of the country.

Speaking after he commissioned the Prempeh I international airport on Friday, President Akufo-Addo said he was determined to defy doubts and push forward with transformative initiatives for the nation.

“Anytime I begin a project, people say I can’t do it.

“They say it is 419, but I shame them. I dare say that I am doing it and I will continue to do it until my tenure ends,” the President stated.

He underscored the role the new state-of-the-art airport in alleviating travel challenges and advancing the nation’s aviation industry.

President Akufo-Addo also reiterated his government’s commitment to nurturing Ghana’s aviation sector, aiming to enhance its competitiveness within West Africa and globally.

“This project is not only critical for government but also very dear to the people of Ashanti Region. It will not only meet the needs of the people of Ashanti Region but also a symbol of development and progress. The airport will serve as an important gateway forging economic ties, supporting international trade and tourism, and promoting cultural exchange,” he explained.

Great excitement

The decision to make Kumasi Airport an international one generated huge excitement among residents when work on the second phase of the project began in May 2018.

The works included the construction of a new terminal building, parking areas, VVIP and VIP lounges, restaurants, commercial areas, boarding gates, and power station at a cost of 66 million Euros.

The third and final phase scheduled to be completed by June 2023, however, suffered a major setback owing to financial constraints.

It consisted of extension of existing runway, air traffic control building, aeronautical ground lighting system, fire station, and construction of new taxi link among others at a cost of 58 million euros.

Even though the initial completion timeline was not met, the airport is now ready for international flights with a capacity to handle 800,000 passengers per annum and 200 passengers every hour.

Otumfuo commends Akufo-Addo

Speaking on behalf of the Asantehene, the Juabenhene Nana Otuo Siribuor II commended President Akufo-Addo for completing the project.

“The operation of the airport is going to make the cost of traveling cheap for us because sometimes you get to Accra and due to bad weather, you can’t fly to Kumasi. You either have to lodge in a hotel or come to Kumasi by road. We thank the President for delivering his promise to the good people of Ashanti”, Nana Otuo Siribuo1 II said.

President of the Car Rentals Association of Ghana, Michael Sarpong said the opening up of the airport will create a lot of avenues for their business.

“We’ve been looking forward to the completion of this airport for long and we are now excited”, he noted.

“It is coming as a relief and now we would not have to use Accra as the main route to travel outside the country once we have an international airport here”, a resident, Success Prince Duah Mensah shared.

However, it appears the people of Kumasi would have to wait for a few months before enjoying the full benefit of the new facility as operation is not starting with immediate effect.

Minister for Transport Kwaku Ofori Asiamah indicated that the commissioning of the terminal and its ancillary facility such as the radar and the control tower does not mark the end of the work.

“We will commence full commercial operation at the terminal after completion of some works by the end of June. This will give us the opportunity to identify and correct any issue that may arise. Construction is still ongoing in relation to the taxi link and runway extension. The runway extension is expected to be completed between August and September.

“We had to commission the terminal to enable us to after two months, move in here so that it will give us the opportunity to break part of the old terminal and the old VIP which is part of the extension of the runway”, he explained.