Negotiations have begun with banks to raise finance for the completion of the Air Navigation Services (ANS) Centre at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA), Minister of Transport Kweku Ofori Asiamah has told Parliament.
The ANS Centre, a five-storey building with a basement, is about 92 percent complete, according to the Minister.
It will deliver air traffic management (ATM) services, communications, navigation and surveillance (CNS) systems, meteorological services for air navigation, and aeronautical information management (AIM), among others. It will be the second-largest in Africa after a similar facility in South Africa.
Appearing before lawmakers at Parliament House in Accra on Tuesday to answer questions related to his sector, the Minister said the advent of the coronavirus stalled the project.
“The ANS Centre commenced in January 2017 and was expected to be completed by December 2020. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which significantly impacted the finances of the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority, the project has stalled,” he said.
“The authority is now negotiating with our bankers to finance the rest of the project.
Hopefully, if negotiations go well as planned and the finances are secured, we should be able to complete the project by the first quarter or middle of next year.”
Construction of the ANS Centre forms part of government’s vision of making Ghana an aviation hub within West Africa and a destination of choice for travellers, the Minister added.
To support anticipated increases in traffic volume, Ghana has undertaken efforts to upgrade its airports.
For example, Kotoka International Airport in Accra received a new terminal in early 2018. The terminal has a 1,250-passenger-per-hour and 3,500-bag-per-hour capacity.
Kumasi, Ghana’s second-largest city, is in the second phase of upgrades to its international airport, including a runway extension to accommodate larger aircraft, as well as new arrival and departure halls.
Meanwhile, the Minister also indicated that feasibility studies for a new airport in either the Central, Western or in between both regions, which would complement the agenda to transform Ghana into the transportation hub of West Africa, are ongoing.
He added that the feasibility studies will determine the level of infrastructure and a suitable location.