The project, funded with a loan facility from the Brazilian government, is expected to cost about US$174million. It is being undertaken by Brazilian company Geiroz Galvao Construction – the same company working on the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange in Accra.
The first phase of the project consists of extending the runway from the current 2,480 metres to about 3,940 metres, and the installation of a complete lighting system to accommodate bigger aircraft so as to serve as the second international airport in the country. It is supposed to serve as an alternative to the Kotoka International Airport (KIA).
The project became prudent due to the growth in airlines servicing the Kotoka International Airport and the growing demand for domestic air transport. Tamale is the second-busiest domestic destination in the country.
Domestic passenger throughput during the 2013 financial year grew by 43.3 percent to 780,000 in 2013 from 540,000 in 2012; with Tamale Airport recording a passenger throughput of 162,000.
International carriers number about 42 with a passenger throughput of about two million recorded over the past two years.
James Eric Antwi, Starbow’s Chief Executive Officer said: “Yes I believe it is very necessary for us to construct an international airport in Tamale because that part of the country needs to be opened-up. When we build an international airport in Tamale, it will create a lot of jobs; companies will go there and invest.
“Manufacturing companies can move in because they can get their products easily into Accra. We can grow flowers and export them from Tamale. Flowers fetch a lot of income in most countries that I know; for instance Kenya, Ethiopia and other countries, and Northern Ghana is conducive for this business.
“I think that if they do, it will help a whole lot of people -- and also with the airlines going there, companies going there. Tamale will just be another commercial centre that will open the door to all countries…Burkina and the surrounding countries,” he said.
See also: Tamale International Airport - Pictures & Info