President John Dramani Mahama was the first to test the newly installed runway lighting system at the Kumasi Airport.
The presidential jet touched down at Kumasi Airport at 9:30pm local time, making it the first post-6pm flight to ever land at the Kumasi Airport. The President had flown direct from Abuja, where he was attending an ECOWAS meeting.
President Mahama was joined by Otumfuo Osei Tutu II and other dignitaries to inaugurate the new runway lighting system.
The completion of rehabilitation works on the 1,981-meter long runway and installation of the lighting system at the airport will enable domestic carriers to operate flights between Accra and Kumasi after dark seven days a week.
So far, domestic airlines have been struggling to break even operating only 12 hours per day.
The $4.9 million project forms part of major refurbishment planned to transform Kumasi into an international airport. The airport now handles more than 2.5million passengers a month, an increase from 700,000 recorded in 2008.
President Mahama promised further development of the airport’s facilities, including a new terminal building, to enable it to attain international standards.
Speaking at the inauguration, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II said Kumasi played an important role in national development and the airport upgrade was well deserving of the city.
He added that the day was a happy one for Kumasi and Asanteman.
The Asantehene thanked President Mahama and the government, expressing confidence that the project would promote the development of the Ashanti Region.
Transport Minister Mrs Dzifa Attivor thanked Otumfuo for his support for the project.
By Bliss Benjamin Elom