Work on the $250-million Terminal 3 project of the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) is 91 per cent complete and due to be inaugurated later this year.
When completed, the project can handle five million passengers a year, up from the approximately 2.5 million passengers that used to be handled at Terminal 2.
The Managing Director (MD) of Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL), Mr John Dekyem Attafuah, said in an interview with the Daily Graphic that “Terminal 3 at Kotoka International Airport promises to be the game-changer as Ghana inches closer to become the destination of choice and the preferred aviation hub in West Africa.”
According to him, the construction of Terminal 3 was also in line with GACL's mission of providing world-class airport facilities and services for the benefit of its stakeholders.
“The terminal is designed to have modern facilities that will undoubtedly position KIA among the best equipped airports in the region,” Mr Attafuah said.
“In fact, this project fits into the GACL's vision of positioning the country as the preferred aviation hub and leader in the airport business in West Africa,” he added.
The terminal, which is expected to be fully operational by the third quarter of this year, has six boarding aerobridges and can process 1,250 passengers per hour. It is fitted with three business lounges and a large commercial and retail area with a purpose-built transit facility.
The KIA's Terminal 3 has five levels spread across 45,000 square metres and parking space for 700 cars.
At the departure level, it has 56 check-in desks, 30 passport control centres and 80 security lanes.
The arrival area has 24 immigration counters, four electronic gate (e-gate) positions [expandable to eight] and four baggage reclaim devices.
The terminal is also equipped with a fully automated baggage handling system to handle both destination and transit luggage at 3,500 bags an hour.
The idea of a new terminal was conceived as a compelling project in 2013 as an alternative to the refurbishment of Terminal 2, which was then on the drawing board.
At the time, the facilities in Terminal 2 constantly broke down, and congestion, especially at the arrival hall, had become a national security concern.
However, all indications pointed to the disruption of traffic and cost overruns that were attendant upon the refurbishment of what was clearly an outdated product.
The then board of the company took the bold decision to cut new grounds and, once it received support from the government, started work in earnest to secure funding for it.
The project is structured around a design-and-build basis by a Turkish construction company, MAPA Construction and Trade Company.
In 2014, work commenced on the expansion of the Terminal 2 arrival hall to ease the congestion experienced during peak hours. Currently, the existing floor area of the arrival hall has been expanded by 5,148 square metres
Additional works include electrical installations, fire detection and protection systems, provision and installation of two new baggage handling equipment to bring to four the number of baggage carousels in the arrival hall, provision and installation of 26 immigration booths, 10 e-gates, a moving walkway, and new air-conditioning systems.