Airport operator and manager Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL) broke ground on the construction of its flagship project (Terminal 3) at Kotoka International Airport (KIA) in March 2016.

The project is a part of GACL’s capital investment programme that entails the construction of a new terminal at KIA, the only international airport in the country, and the rehabilitation of other regional airports managed by GACL.

Pressure on the existing two terminals is lowered with the new terminal, which is expected to handle up to five million passengers a year, with an expansion potential of up to 6.5 million passengers. Construction of the new terminal was completed in June 2018 and it was opened to traffic three months later.

The two-year expansion at KIA is expected to generate 900 temporary jobs and 760 permanent jobs during the operations and maintenance phase.

The airport handled approximately 2.29 million passengers and 39,217 aircraft movements in 2017.

Objectives of KIA’s expansion

The airport expansion supports the country’s ambition to upgrade its vital infrastructure by modernising and transforming the airport into a gateway for west Africa and as a regional aviation hub. It also contributes to the country’s economy by facilitating market connectivity and by reducing the cost of doing business.

KIA’s expansion also supports the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda that emphasises the need for rehabilitating and expanding infrastructural facilities in the transport sector.

The project is also in line with the priorities identified in the National Airport System Plan 2014.

KIA’s new terminal design details

The new terminal at KIA was designed in accordance with the latest International Air Transport Association (IATA) requirements based on optimal service level.

Access to the terminal is provided through a new main road, which was constructed as part of the project. The main entrance is located in front of the central check-in hall, making it easy to enter the terminal. The check-in hall is designed to incorporate expressive forms reflecting Ghanaian culture and values. Surface car parking is located within walking distance from the terminal.

Kotoka airport Terminal 3 details

Designed for international traffic, the new terminal comprises five levels spread across an area of 45,000m². The terminal features six contact stands for Code E aircraft and two additional remote stands.

The new terminal has the capacity to process 1,250 passengers at peak times, a large retail and commercial area, three business lounges, six fixed links and seven air bridges expandable to eight. Parking space is available with the capacity to handle more than 700 cars.

“The new terminal reduces the pressure on the existing two terminals and can handle up to five million passengers a year, with an expansion potential up to 6.5 million passengers.”

The departures level of the terminal features 56 check-in desks, 30 passport control counters, which includes four e-gate positions, and eight security lanes. The arrivals level houses 24 immigration counters, four e-gate positions expandable to eight, and four baggage claim areas.

A fully automated baggage handling system designed in accordance with the latest European Civil Aviation Conference Hold Baggage Screening (ECAC HBS) requirements is also  provided to handle 3,500 bags an hour.

Contractors and financing

The Terminal 3 project is a design and build concept undertaken by

Turkish construction company Mapa Construction MNG Holding (Mapa İnşaat ve Ticaret) has undertaken the the Terminal 3 project design and build concept.

The total $400m investment for the programme includes renovations to the GACL-owned regional airports. In September 2015, the African Development Bank (AfDB) approved a $120m loan with a tenor of up to 15 years for the project. It is the first private sector investment made by the bank in Ghana’s transport sector.

Remaining costs were financed partly by AfDB and partly through corporate loans from other development financial institutions and commercial banks.