Source: B&FT - The Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL) is seeking to raise an additional US$150million to finance the construction of a new airport at Ho in the Volta Region, and to rehabilitate the Wa airstrip in the Upper West Region as it deepens efforts to improve domestic aviation
Charles Asare, Managing Director of the company, confirmed the need to raise additional capital for funding airport infrastructure to the B&FT.
“We are going to raise an additional US$150million. This year we completed rehabilitating Kumasi Airport. We are going to rehabilitate Sunyani, recommission the Wa airstrip and make them operational. We are also going to cut the sod for construction of a brand-new airport at Ho that will measure 1,600metres x 45metres.”
The new capital required by the state-owned company comes weeks after it secured US$250million from a consortium of banks led by Ecobank Capital for the construction of a third terminal at Kotoka International Airport (KIA).
Local financial institutions have the opportunity to facilitate closure of the loan. “Ecobank is not necessarily going to arrange it. It could be some other entity,” Mr. Asare said.
The feasibility for the proposed airport at Ho has been completed and submitted to the GACL.
Ho Municipal is one of the 25 Municipalities and Districts in the Volta Region of Ghana. The Municipality is also administrative capital of the People of the Volta Region, which is endowed with fertile land suitable for the cultivation of yam, rice, maize, and onion. Fishing is also a major occupation of tens of communities sited along the Volta River.
The region also hosts many tourist attractions -- waterfalls, forests, and animal sanctuaries among others.
The Wa airstrip, meanwhile, has remained inappropriate for domestic flight operations. Domestic airline operators have cited the poor runway, lack of an adequate terminal building and other ancillary facilities for their inability to operate flights from Accra to the Upper West regional capital.
Management of GACL, following promulgation of the Airport Tax Amendment Act in 2013 -- which allows the GACL to retain 100 percent of its revenues -- turned to private capital to improve aviation infrastructure in the country.
Prior to amendment of the Act, 60 percent of all airport taxes went directly to the Ghana Revenue Authority to support the national budget -- while GACL retained just 40 percent.
Mr. Asare said the company has set up a special fund solely for airport infrastructure. He said 70 percent of the revenue from its Airport Passenger Service Charge (APSC) will be kept in the fund to service the loan.
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