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Transport Ministry backs GACL’s service charge review

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By Eugene Davis

A Deputy Minister of Transport, Hassan Tampuli, has backed the request of Ghana Airport Company’s (GACL) to have their user fees and services reviewed upwards to enable them undertake proper maintenance service in the new airports that are springing up across the country.

The government of Ghana is committed to improve the aviation sector to ensure the country become an aviation hub, however one of the critical agencies responsible for planning, developing, managing and maintaining all airports and aerodromes in Ghana -GACL is pushing for a review of its Airport Passenger Service Charge (APSC) in order to properly maintain and manage effectively the new airports being developed in some of the regions.

Speaking to the press on the sidelines of a day’s visit to the Kumasi and Tamale airports by the leadership and members of the Select Committee of Parliament’s Roads and Transport, and officials of GACL, led by the sector minister, Hassan Tampuli, he said “now revenue from APSC for Accra is also a subject of a loan facility so payment more or less go to amortise those loans, so we need excess funds to be able to maintain these facilities. So, we need a sustained revenue stream, even itemize in the budget that this is the purpose it is going to be used for.

For us at the ministry we are excited that leadership and members of the parliamentary select committee on roads and transport appreciate the fact that the 5Ghana cedis  that we have in the price buildup of domestic air travel is woefully inadequate, so we appreciate the fact that they recognise  it needs to be reviewed, so they have asked that we come with a justification paper for us to be able to go through the numbers and see whether there is a justification, maybe whatever figures that we put across maybe inadequate as far as they are concerned, they may be give us more than we requested for, seeing what we have here, it tells us that there is a bright future as far as our aviation industry is concerned.”

Expected benefits

Mr. Tampuli also explained that “We have not moved into these facilities yet, in order not to get to a point where it will be difficult to maintain the facility, we need to be proactive and get revenue stream put in the price build up way before the opening of these airports.

“We need to be ahead of the curve and get a stable revenue stream and I believe when parliament resumes from recess, these are matters that would be considered in the next meeting”.

The chairman of Parliament’s Road and Transport committee, Kennedy Osei Nyarko has urged the ministry and officials of GACL to submit the law mandating them to review the user fees and charges to the committee.

He expressed concerned about the paltry amount GACL charges for domestic passengers “now they use to charge 5ghc for all our domestic airports, [Ho,Wa, Tamale] every passenger passing through domestic airport.

All international passengers are charged 200 dollars at Terminal 3, and that is the money they are using to support the domestic airports, how can you have a domestic facility, the person is not

I have instructed them to bring back the law so we will be able to amend it, they should not be charging less than 50ghc to maintain this airport. But we want them to run the numbers with us and justify it.

I can assure you that if we don’t look for revenue stream to maintain it, in less than a year, all these beautiful edifices would go down the drain.”he said.

The Managing Director of GACL,Pamela Djamson Tettey indicated that they are resolved to push through with the APSC and they would work closely with the sector minister to ensure that they meet up with parliament when they resume to attain the objective.

Ranking member of the Parliament’s Select Committee, Kwame Governs Agbodza advised the GACL to be more innovative to raise funds to sustain the domestic airports without recourse to government.

Both Kumasi and Tamale airports are nearing completion and is expected to be fully handed over sometime next year, according to management of GACL.

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