Sunyani Airport reopening soon
Minister of Aviation, Joseph Kofi Addah, has announced that the Sunyani Airport, which has been closed since 2015 due to challenges will reopen soon.
According to the Minister, the airport which is undergoing rehabilitation work will be ready for use by end of 2019.
“It is not fair to the people of the Brong Ahafo Region to have been denied the services of commercial aircraft since 2015,” he said, adding that a decision had to be taken to enable the airport to be opened for business.
After inspecting the airport, the Minister concluded that: “It is a very serious situation we are confronted with. Both the north and the south sides of the airport have difficulties. We have valleys, we have rivers and shrines and we have to, therefore, take a quick decision”.
“What we have seen today gives us the picture of what needs to be considered. We will make a recommendation to the Cabinet and find a way for the rehabilitation work to start as soon as possible,” he said.
He said the runway had to be extended from the northern and southern sides, explaining that the current length of 1.4 kilometres needed an additional 500 or 600 metres to make it a standard airport for aircraft to land and take off.
He stated that engineers would consider whether to fill up the valleys or construct overheads to get the required length. He expressed the hope that the rehabilitation would be completed by the close of the year for air transportation to resume in the region.
Mr Addah said while the terminal building needed some work, that was not the critical aspect of the job, explaining that the rehabilitation of the worn-out bitumen and cracks on the runway was critical since the current state of the runway was not good for landing and taking off of aircraft.
He expressed concern about the settlements on the sides of the airport, adding that, “we will look at the situation. Whether they are right, or we are wrong, had to be determined. If they are wrong, then they will have to move out; if they are right then we must give them the right that they deserve”.
Mr Joseph Addah said whatever the situation, the people living near the airport had to live with the fact that they would live with constant noise that would be associated with the resumption of operations of the facility.