Local airlines reluctant to fly to Ho – Aviation Minister
The Aviation Minister, Joseph Kofi Adda, has revealed that local airline companies have refused to operate the Ho route, leaving the airport closed after its completion.
He said the situation has made the operationalisation of the Ho airport difficult.
Speaking at the Public Accounts Committee on Thursday, the minister disclosed that all attempts to convince the local airlines to fly to Ho had not yielded any result.
“The sad bit of it is that my own good friend who is the overlord of Asogli is the shareholder of Africa World, and we’ve talked with him to try and consider the possibility of going there.
“The same thing with Passion Air, my good friend Edward Annan to see how as a shareholder he can also consider the airline going there. They have their own reasons they look purely for commercial. So, it’s it a difficult thing.”
Answering questions from the Chairman of the committee, James Klutse Avedzi, regarding whether there is any hope for the airport soon, the minister said there was none.
“We are very concerned about the Ho airport considering the amount of money that has gone into that and the service that can provide to the nation. We’ve explored different things and different options of how to deal with that. But given that we don’t have our own airline that we can by policy direct that they should be going there, it’s so difficult for you to negotiate with the commercial airlines,” he said.
He continued, “We have considered other means in terms of how we can even get passengers for instance, from the Ashanti zone who come to Aflao to trade to see if the airlines can fly them from Kumasi to Ho which is a longer route that from Accra to Ho. These are things that we’ve explored. It’s difficult to say tomorrow we’ll fly there”.
The Ho Airport project launched by former President Mahama was a $25million project funded by the Ghana Airport Company Limited (GACL) to boost economic activities and tourism in the Volta Region.
The project, which was scheduled for completion in September 2016, has 1,900 metres runway, a traffic control tower, 1,150 capacity passenger waiting area, an ultramodern airbus terminal and an automatic fire detection system.
Volta Regional Minister, Dr Achibald Letsa, has said the airport could not operate without planes.
Sad but let us explore other avenues such as flying outside Ghana (e.g, USA, UK, Germany, Middle East, neighboring countries such as Nigeria, etc) to Ho airport for business and tourism. Voltariens themselves must act fast to industrialize the region, thus, making the region busier and commercial and attractive.