Fast-track Completion of Prempeh I Airport Appendages; Juabenhene to Gov’t

The Chairman of the country’s Council of State and Paramount Chief of the Juaben Traditional Area, Nana Otuo Sereboe II has called on the government to accelerate elements needed for the operationalization of the remodeled Kumasi International Airport named after the 13th Monarch of the Asante Kingdom, Otumfuo Agyemang Prempeh I.

Speaking on behalf of the King of the Asante Kingdom, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, at the commissioning of the airport on Friday, May 10, 2024, he indicated that the project will be purposeless without key appendages yet to be constructed.

“It’s our hope that other appendages to make it fully operational will come in due time. So that it would not be as we used to say in our days: ‘pass no way’ so that we will have full access to it.”

He also underscored the need for the culture of maintenance in keeping the facility which was funded together with the British government in good shape.

The €125,000 second and third phases of the three-phased project began in 2018; however, got stalled due to what the government says was the invasion of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequently the International Monetary Fund bailout.

Upon the intervention of Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the government sought an alternative source of funding to complete the new airport terminal, radar system, the control tower of the Prempeh I International Airport and a fire station which was commissioned yesterday with an extension of the runway underway as part of Phase III.

Despite its commissioning, the Minister for Transport, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, said at the event that the facility will be operational in June after the final Operational Readiness and Airport Transfer (ORAT) is conducted on the facility.

Present at the event were the Prime Minister for Trinidad and Tobago, Dr Hon Keith Rowley and his wife, Mrs Sharon Rowley, the Minister for Transport, Hon Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, the Interior Minister, Hon Henry Quartey, the Energy Minister, Hon Matthew Opoku Prempeh, the Education Minister, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, the Ashanti Regional Minister, Hon Simon Osei Mensah, the British High Commissioner to Ghana, H.E. Harriet Thompson and many others.

The airport named Prempeh I International Airport, after the 13th King of the Asante Kingdom pays tribute to the pivotal role he played in the consolidation of the Asante Kingdom during his reign in the late 19th Century and early 20th Centuries, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said at the event.

According to him, naming the facility after him was not a difficult decision as he overcame and stood tall amid significant internal and external challenges he was confronted with during his era as Asantehene.

“One of Otumfuo Agyemang Prempeh’s most notable achievements was his effort to modernise and centralise the administration of the Kingdom, establishing a more centralised system of authority and strengthening the power of Asantehene and his council chiefs. This helped to streamline government and enhanced the Kingdom’s ability to respond to external threats and internal challenges. Under his leadership, the Kingdom experienced territorial expansion bringing many more communities and territories under Asante rule and influence.

“Overall, Otumfuo Agyemang Prempeh’s leadership during a tumultuous period in the Asante history helped to reinforce the foundations of the resilience and endurance of the Asante Kingdom. It also marked a period of the Asante resistance led by the celebrated Ejisujemaa Yaa Asantewaa to British colonial annexation of Asante. Rising tensions between the Asantes and the British culminated in the Sagrenti War which was won by the British and led to Otumfuo Agyemang Prempeh’s arrest and subsequent exile.”

He also alluded to the now demolished residence of the King which was situated at the exact spot where the new International airport has been raised as another factor for naming it after him.

“Before his forced exile to Sierra Leone and then ultimately to Seychelles, Otumfuo Agyemang Prempeh’s last place of abode in Kumasi was on the premises where this very airport was built.”

According to President Akufo-Addo, the state-of-the-art facility represents significant investments marking a new era of enhanced safety in aviation operations with the air traffic controllers in place.

The Managing Director of the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority, Ing Charles Okraku in his speech said the air traffic controllers will provide information essential for the effective separation and management of aircraft and facilitate the smooth and orderly flow of air traffic.

According to him, the radar system, the third of its kind in the country, is strategically here in Kumasi to ensure total coverage in the continental airspace over crowd flight information in the region.

“The functionality of the Kumasi Radar extends beyond the provision of regular surveillance. It offers both the approach and route control services which ensures optimisation of the use of our airspace as well as minimising delays. Kumasi radar being the third in the country after Accra and Tamale will ensure that we always have total radar coverage in the continental airspace of Accra FIR with Kumasi and Tamale serving as backup for Accra.”

The facility is envisioned to serve as an important gateway forging stronger economic ties, supporting International trade and tourism and promoting cultural exchanges.

President Akufo-Addo said, “I’m told that this project created a significant number of jobs during the construction process and will also create additional employment opportunities as it becomes operational. I therefore all to take advantage of the opportunities that this airport presents to grow and develop.”

Touching on the capacity of the facility to enhance trade between the United Kingdom and Ghana, the British High Commissioner to Ghana, H.E. Harriet Thompson anticipated a rise in the number of freights that would go through Ghana’s airports.

“{British Company} Blue Skies relies on Ghana to export its goods to Europe, a clear example of opportunities that infrastructure projects such as this airport create. I’m delighted that trade between the UK and Ghana has remained strong over the years with trade in goods and services standing at 2.3 billion pounds sterling. Overall, approximately 30,000 tonnes of freight was moved through Ghana’s airport last year. I want to see that number go up as this fantastic new airport comes into service.”

The Managing Director of the Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL), Yvonne Nana Afriyie Opare for her part announced that over six international airlines are projected to operate flights at the new facility.

“With ongoing discussions and collaborations with our partner airlines, we are assured that Prempeh I International Airport will see airlines such as British Airways, Asky Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, Turkish Airwaves, Tap Portugal, and Kenya Airways, among others to land a s take off here in the very near future.”

Meanwhile, she assured of her outfit’s commitment to giving the facility the needed maintenance and enhancement required to position it as a premier destination in West Africa.

Phase III
Phase III of the project is already ongoing, the MD of the GACL said.

“The remaining works scheduled for Phase III implementation include the extension of the runway from 1,981 metres to 2,320 metres which is currently underway and projected to be completed in September 2024.”

Other elements of the third phase include taxi and apron parking stands.


Prev Otumfuo has Played a Silent Role in Our Success Story- KNUST
Next Akwasidae Marks Climax of Otumfuo's Enstoolment Anniversary Today

Comments are closed.