Barring all odds, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo would inaugurate the Sunyani Airport for domestic flight operation to begin this year, Mr Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, the Minister of Transport has announced.
The Minister said the first phase of the rehabilitation and expansion of the airport was virtually completed, saying the President would also perform a ground-breaking ceremony for work to begin on the second phase of the project.
Mr Asiamah gave the announcement when he inspected the progress of work on the facility in Sunyani on Tuesday.
He was accompanied by Mr Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Mr Kwasi Ameyaw-Cheremeh, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Sunyani East and some senior officials of the Ghana Airport Company Limited (GACL) and the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA).
Mr Asiamah said he was highly impressed about the work done, particularly on the runway, and commended the contractors for the good work.
He, however, expressed worry about the level of encroachment on the airport’s land, saying discussions were on-going between the GACL, GACC, traditional authorities and the trespassers to help resolve the situation.
Mr Asiamah cautioned estate developers, individuals and all potential land buyers to be vigilant in order not to encroach on the remaining land of the Airport.
Madam Justina Owusu-Banahene, the Bono Regional Minister, explained the inauguration of the facility would open up the region and spur rapid socio-economic growth.
She said it was always hectic for people in the region to travel long hours to Accra, and expressed the hope that the people would patronize the facility to enhance domestic air transport.
Madam Owusu-Banahene expressed optimism the facility would be inaugurated for commercial flight operations in the next two weeks, saying Passion and other domestic airlines were all ready to commence operations in Sunyani.
She emphasised the Bono Region had huge economic prospects, saying flight operations would open up the regional capital, boost economic activities and promote speedy socio-economic progress.
The Sunyani airport was originally constructed as an airstrip and later upgraded to an airport in 1969 and currently has a total runway length of about 1,520 metres.
In 2015, GACL and the GCAA shut down the airport as a precautionary measure to forestall any disaster.