Dr Yakubu Akparibo, an aviation expert, has said the planned construction of an airport in the Central Region of Ghana, which found its way into the incumbent NPP’s 2020 manifesto, is not viable due to a plethora of reasons.
According to him, most of the conditions that will be serving as the basis for such a project are non-existent, therefore, the government of Ghana should prioritize other infrastructural projects and not an airport.
Dr Yakubu Akparibo, who is also an Aerospace Medicine Physician, stated further that commercial flights which form a major aspect of the viable aviation industry will not be available in the case of the Central Region.
“You may want to find out if there are business people who live in Cape Coast or Accra and need to shuttle to and fro and may need to catch some business within the shortest possible time,” he told Joy FM on Monday.
He added, “Cape Coast is not a major hub that you can fly to like Abuja or other cities.”
Dr Yakubu Akparibo explained that the construction of an airport in Cape Coast must be assessed thoroughly to indicate if passengers are connecting internationally through Accra to Cape Coast, a condition he thinks is not present at the moment.
“If you have so many people coming into the country through Accra and have to travel to Cape Coast then you have to have budget flight airlines that can shuttle, like connecting flights for those passengers…we don’t have so many business flights to Cape Coast so that isn’t feasible,” he observed.
“Is the Accra airport so congested that we need a second runway which is not possible, so we want to look at the nearest city and have an airport there to reroute international flights there?” he quizzed.
“The distance between Stansted and Heathrow is about 100 km which is almost like the distance from Accra to Cape Coast. You don’t see an aircraft taking off from Heathrow and then landing in Stansted with passengers unless there’s a safety issue,” he added.
The issue of constructing an airport in Cape Coast became topical at the launch of the 2020 manifesto by the incumbent NPP, where Vice President Alhaji Dr Mahamadu Bawumia in his address disclosed that the NPP will construct an airport in the Central Region.
“For the people of Cape Coast, I have good news for you. We are building a new harbour in Cape Coast and a new airport in Cape Coast,” he said.
In reaction to this, many have criticized the incumbent NPP that it is not a realistic promise.