‘Sunyani Airport Reopening To Stimulate Economic Growth’

 Justina Owusu-Banahene and other government officials after the press briefing 

THE BONO Regional Minister, Justina Owusu-Banahene, has indicated that the reopening of the Sunyani Airport will help stimulate economic growth in the region.

The airport, closed since 2015 due to safety concerns caused by visible deterioration of its airside pavement and poor state of infrastructure, will on Monday, September 19, 2022, be reopened to traffic.

This follows the commissioning of Phase I of renovation and expansion works of the airport by President Akufo-Addo last month.

Ms. Owusu-Banahene made the announcement at the Minister’s Press Briefing, a weekly platform put together by the Ministry of Information for Regional Ministers to provide update on developments in their regions on Thursday, in Accra.

She said the reopening of the airport will reduce the difficulties passengers travelling to and from the middle belt of the country endure.

“In October 2019, the Government of Ghana and the Ghana Airports Company Limited jointly funded the Phase One of the Airport Rehabilitation Project. I am happy to report that the Airport is ready for use and Passion Air is set to make its maiden flight on Monday, September 19, 2022.

“While the reopening of the Airport will open up the economic growth potential of the region, as well as ease travelling time from Sunyani to Accra, which takes an average of between eight to ten hours, we see this as an opportunity to promote eco and cultural tourism in the Bono Region and beyond. And for that, we are very grateful, Mr. President. Discussions are far advanced to conclude the Phase Two of the project which will see a further extension of the runway as well as the building of a new terminal, among others,” she said.

Unprecedented Infrastructure Development

Touching on other infrastructure developments in the region, Ms. Owusu-Banahene said no government in the democratic dispensation of the country has embarked on massive infrastructure projects in her region than the government of President Akufo-Addo.

On roads, she noted that government has improved a total of 539.52 kilometres of feeder road network under various periodic maintenance interventions across all districts in the region. This, she said, has “improved greatly the socio-economic status of towns located along the various corridors in the region.”

With regards to health, Ms. Owusu-Banahene said in the past six years, the region has seen the construction and completion of 19 health facilities including a 60-bed hospital in the Tain District, the Benkasa Health Centre in the Berekum West District and 17 CHPS compounds with staff accommodation dotted all over the region.

She also noted that there has been significant improvement in the staffing levels of key medical professionals in the region thus, impacting positively on the health delivery in the region. She said the doctor to patient ratio in the region is 1:10,395 compared to 1:14,896 some six years ago.

In the area of education, she disclosed that 78 educational projects have been initiated and under implementation in the region, undertaken by the 12 Municipal and District Assemblies in the region. This includes dormitories, libraries, classrooms, dining halls, administration blocks, staff quarters, science, and ICT centres.