President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Wednesday inaugurated the first phase of the rehabilitation and expansion of the Sunyani Airport, and assured his government’s commitment to make Ghana the aviation hub of West Africa.
The President promised to ensure work on the second phase of the project, which is costing the government GhC52 million also commenced as soon as possible.
He observed as domestic passenger traffic in the country continued to grow and his government would also continue to expand infrastructure to meet the demands.
Addressing a colourful durbar of chiefs, Ministers of State, Members of Parliament and Municipal and District Chief Executives at the Airport, President Akufo-Addo said construction works on the Kumasi and Tamale International Airports were also progressing steadily.
He said the Kumasi project was about 92 percent complete while the Tamale project was also about 95 percent complete.
The President however, expressed concern about the widespread encroachment at the Sunyani Airport which could affect the second phase and called on the traditional authorities and the lands Commission to sit up and resolve the problem.
President Akufo-Addo emphasised his governmentâ€™s determination and commitment in ensuring that every part of Ghana was developed without partiality and promised to reshape the deplorable nature of roads in the Bono Region.
He also gave the assurance that his government would continue to engage traditional rulers towards bringing the development of the nation to the next level.
Mr Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, the Minister of Transport said works on the Sunyani Airport was in line with governmentâ€™s efforts to establish a standard airport in every region to boost air transport.
He noted the domestic air travel market in the country had recovered by 70 in 2021 since the outbreak of the COVID-19 and expressed the hope that the reopening of the Sunyani airport would create job opportunities for the people and spur rapid socio-economic growth and development.
Madam Justina Owusu-Banahene, the Bono Regional Minister expressed appreciation to the President, saying the completion of the first phase of the airport had proved sceptic wrong, and was also a demonstration of the Presidentâ€™s commitment to develop the Bono Region.
She said work on the project received general support from the chiefs and people of the region, and expressed appreciation to the Bono Regional House of chiefs for their invaluable contribution towards the completion of the project.
Mad. Owusu-Banahene expressed the hope that the good people of the region would patronise the airport and alsoâ€¯promote eco and cultural tourism.
Mrs. Pamela Jumson Tetteh, the Managing Director, Ghana Airports Company Limited said the COVID-19 caused significant delays in the completion of the project which had interfaced the Sunyani and Kotoka International Airports.
“This project, Mr President is truly your project and the credit for its success is rightly yours and yours alone.
“We are confident that your commitment to the phase two of this project would be unwavering”, she said and commended the Bono Regional Minister for her dedication towards the completion of the project and thanked the chiefs of the region for their consistent cooperation as well.
Osagyefo Oseadeeyo Agyemang-Badu II, the Paramount Chief of Dormaa Traditional Area and President of the Bono Region House of Chiefs thanked the President for the facility, and asked the government to actively engage chiefs and queens in national development processes.
He appealed to the President to facilitate the construction Berekum-Sampa, New Dormaa-Yawhima and Badu-Wenchi roads which were in deplorable conditions.