General News of Thursday, 22 September 2016
Source: Daily Guide
Kotoka International Airport
The Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL) has broken the jinx of incessant seeking of lifelines from government and financial institutions a development which has given the company an enviable leverage over its colleague state-owned corporate institutions. Daily Guide has learnt that the financial books of the company are now so tidy that they have attracted many an investor seeking a safe place to plant their monies.
The success story of the company has been attributed to the new direction the GACL has been charting since the new administration under the Chairmanship of Tony Lithur and Charles Asare as Managing Director took over the helm and nursed the vision to position Ghana as the aviation hub in the sub-region. The strategy is based on three thematic approach.
The Improvement of Infrastructure, Promoting excellent service, and building organizational reforms to make it customer-centric, and commercial oriented.
The new initiatives which has seen the enhancement of the look and efficiency of services at especially the Kotoka International Airport is said to be the outcome of the mix of management performance and the commitment of the board of directors and management.
The Managing Director’s recent raising of $400 million, seven-year loan from a consortium of banks led by ECOBANK to enhance and expand airport infrastructure and services was accomplished without challenges because of the recent positive performance of the company under the current crop of board members and the Managing Director.
The entire staff, other stakeholders including the Immigration Service and Customs Service is now on board and working together towards achieving the Vision and moreso, the travelling experience has changed Asare the man with the magic wand had his bachelor’s degree in economics from Haverford College in the US, master’s degree in business administration from Tuck Business School, Dartmouth College also in the US.
With over 17 years’ experience in financial and investment management across West Africa and US his performance in turning around a company which could have followed in the path of others is not surprising.
Asare has tapped into his varied experience and working with very competent professionals to propel the GACL to its present enviable status of one of the leading state-owned business entities.
The current state of the GACL is the outcome of a deliberate and sustained effort to transform especially Ghana’s airports namely Kotoka International Airport (KIA) and the three domestic airports: Kumasi, Tamale, Sunyani as well as various airstrips the three pronged strategy used to achieve this being infrastructure, Service Excellence and Organizational Reforms.
The long queues and congestions that once characterized operations at the Kotoka International Airport especially during peak seasons is now a thing of the past the expansion works on Terminal 2 arrival hall set to enhance operations even better.
The installation of modern CCTV cameras in every area of the airport is on-going. These IP-based real time cameras with video analytics will provide 24-hour surveillance for both airside and landside to aid in security.
On the Landside, the car parks have been redesigned to provide adequate parking for users of the airport. The Airside has also witnessed massive improvements with the reconstruction of taxiway and apron pavement.
On September 9, 2014, President John Dramani Mahama cut sod for the first phase of the upgrade and expansion of the Tamale Airport to International status. It includes the Upgrade and Extension of the runway from 2438m to 3400m, Construction of a new Apron and taxilink, Rehabilitation of existing apron and the Installation of Aeronautical Ground Lighting systems.
The project was commissioned on the 19th of August 2016 to coincide with the annual pilgrimage to Mecca. For the first time in the history of Ghana, a Boeing 747-400 aircraft touched down at Tamale International Airport. The Tamale Airport now serves as an alternate to Kotoka International Airport.
Kumasi Airport has witnessed massive improvement over the past three years. On December 15, 2014, the President inaugurated the rehabilitated runway installed with Aeronautical Ground Lighting Systems to enable commencement of night operations. The airport now runs 24 hour operations and would be receiving regional flights soon.