Official opening for Ghana Airport Cargo Centre in Accra
31 / 10 / 2016
Ghana Airport Cargo Centre (GACC), a public private partnership (PPP)-funded facility at Accra’s Kotoka International Airport, saw its grand official opening ceremony attended by John Dramani Mahama, the country’s president.
The 10,000 sq m of dedicated cargo warehousing is already handling 50% of the local air cargo market, having contracts with carriers such as Cargolux, Brussels Airlines, DHL, Turkish Airlines and KLM.
Air Ghana, a privately owned cargo airline, offered debt financing in a PPP to build the complex which will promote Accra as a regional hub for Africa.
Air Ghana chief executive Marwan Traboulsi told the audience at the opening ceremony: “What we are witnessing today is not just a completion of an outstanding construction project but also the demonstration of how infrastructural development can be achieved through the delivery vehicle of public-private partnership.
“It is indeed heart-warming to see the completion of the first ever PPP project within the aviation industry in Ghana. We believe this project has laid down the foundations for others to emulate and partner the public sector in the provision of infrastructure and other facilities required for the socio-economic development of the country."
Traboulsi continued: “The off-balance sheet financing provided by the PPP arrangement will make it possible for more projects to be delivered without further straining the public purse and resources whilst creating the environment for the private sector to expand and grow.”
Air Ghana and the Ghana Airport Co completed the construction project of the new terminal in just 19 months, allowing tenant Swissport Ghana Ltd to begin managing cargo handling operations in March of this year, using the cargo handling space which has been supplemented by 9,000 sq m of offices.
The facility has a fully automated storage and retrieval system accommodating 2,000 pallet positions, a mini-shipment tower for small packages, two cold stores, a temperature controlled area, a bullion store, an X-ray scanner and CCTV monitoring.
President Mahama said that the centre “was yet another testimony of the systematic growth of the aviation industry in Ghana”.
GACC has, he stated: “Cemented Ghana as the aviation hub of West Africa and that the operations of the facility would have a positive impact on the local economy.”
Christian Zweifel, Swissport Ghana’s chief executive, expressed his thanks to the Ghanaian government for bringing air cargo handling at Kotoka airport, 10 km from Accra city centre, to “the next level”.
Zweifel added: “We also would like to praise GACC, our partners in this venture, who have made all this possible, realising the potential and opportunity of the Accra Airport to become a regional hub and leader for the provision of aviation services in the sub-region.”
The Swissport executive also praised the “recent bold decision” by the Ghanaian government to embark on the Ghana National Single Window programme, which has led to “simpler and faster clearing times”.
Zweifel continued: “I would like to ensure you that our facilities will provide the needed infrastructural support to assist in making Ghana the destination port for trade business in our sub-region.
“We are confident that more airlines will opt for our quality infrastructure and services in the near future.”
The ultra-modern offices have air conditioning, panoramic lifts, energy saving LED lighting, on-site banking facilities, full high-speed fibre internet, solar water heaters and an in-house water filtration plant.