Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the much-talked about Sunyani Airport would soon be re-opened for use by the public, Justina Owusu-Banahene, the Bono Regional Minister has disclosed.
According to her, the first phase of the re-construction of the Sunyani airport has been completed and currently awaiting final inspection, afterwhich it would officially be inaugurated.
The minister told the Sunyani-based Ark FM, a local radio station, that the project is in two phases but work on the second phase, which is yet to start, will not affect the smooth operations at the completed section of the facility.
“The first face of the project which was completed in April this year involves the run-way, the wings among others. It is left with the re-construction of the second phase which is yet to start. I must state that, the second phase of the project does not affect the movement of flights at the airport”, she explained.
The closure of the Sunyani Airport for several years now has been a major concern of the people of the Bono region and other surrounding areas, culminating in a demonstration by the youth of Sunyani sometime last year, among other agitations.
In 1969, the Busia Government seeing the need for an airport for Sunyani initiated construction work for a full airport. This was completed and officially opened on13th July 1974.
In March 2015, the Sunyani Airport was temporarily shut down due to the extent of visible deterioration of the airfield.
Upon assumption of office in 2017, President Akufo-Addo initiated moves to undertake major rehabilitation works at the airport to, among other things, ensure that facilities and services at the airport meet all international safety and security standards.
The scope of work included rehabilitation/re-construction and extension of existing runway, rehabilitation of existing taxi link, rehabilitation and upgrade of existing apron, resurfacing of internal roads, rehabilitation and remodeling of the existing terminal building to make space for all necessary terminal facilitation.
At their recent visit to Jubilee House, members of the Bono Regional House of Chiefs expressed their heartfelt gratitude to the President for the completion of the first phase of the Sunyani Airport.
The President of the Bono Regional House of Chiefs, Osagyefo Oseadeayo Agyeman Badu II, who spoke on behalf of the Chiefs said “Mr. President, we thank you for the re-construction works on the Sunyani Airport. Sometime past, we all remember the deplorable state of our airport. It took the shine off our region significantly. That’s is why we are here to thank you.”
“Nananom are rightly informed that Phase one is now fully complete and will be fully functional after it is officially commissioned.”
A cross-section of residents of Sunyani appear happy about this development but quite upbeat about the commencement of work on the second phase.
BY RICHARD KOFI BOAHEN.