Pretea — The Ministry of Aviation is seeking about 3,000 acres of land in the Western Region to construct a new modern large airport to receive larger planes and serve the oil and gas community.
This follows the influx of businesses, ostensibly from the discovery of oil and gas in the region, making the Air Force Base relatively small to contain the volume of air traffic from bigger aircraft.
The Air Force Base which was built in the 1940s to carry soldiers to Accra and beyond had undergone several rehabilitations, but the size still cannot receive larger planes.
The Minister for Aviation, Mr Joseph Kofi Adda accompanied by the Western Regional Deputy Minister, Madam Gifty E Kusi, the Municipal Chief Executive for Ahanta West, Ms Henrietta Mary Eyison and other officials visited the land at Prestea in the Ahanta West Municipality to see how suitable the land would serve as an airport.
Mr Adda said the region was so rich in all the natural resources and therefore needed an airport that would fit the status of the region, adding "government needs about $100 million to construct a modern airport".
The modern airport, when completed would have a longer runway, tower, radar and other accessories to fit the Oil City, in addition to the putting up of hotels, schools, shopping malls and an Airport City similar to the Airport City in Accra.
Mr Adda stated that about five Memoranda of Understandings (MoUs) have been signed with corporate bodies who were well prepared to do business at the yet to be constructed airport.
He disclosed that his ministry was waiting for the Ministry of Finance to give them the go ahead with the sod -cutting for work to begin before the end of this year.
The Aviation Minister said Tamale and Kumasi Airports were being expanded to receive larger planes and this would bring more businesses and jobs to the areas.
He mentioned that graduates from the Takoradi Technical University and other allied technical institutions would find jobs readily available when the construction of the airport was started.
The Western Regional Deputy Minister, Ms Gifty E Kusi, said the region had positioned itself well enough to receive any development project coming to the region and would cooperate with investors.