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Ghana Airports To Negotiate Aviation Fuel Prices   
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The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ghana Airports Company, Mr Charles Asare, has indicated the company's resolve to engage the government on how to have the price of aviation fuel reduced for the airlines using the country's airport.

The move is intended to make the airport more attractive to the airlines while helping to reduce their operational costs.
Mr Asare said this in an interview with the Daily Graphic at a reception at the residence of Ghana's Ambassador to the United States in honour of South African Airways (SAA), which made its maiden flight to that country on August 3.

"Ghana has the highest cost when it comes to aviation fuel and that is not too attractive for the airport," he said, adding, "It is high because of the taxes not the real fuel itself so we will talk to see how best the cost can be reduced."

According to him, the case to be made by the company would be valuable and "we are optimistic we will succeed in the greater interest of the country".

Many airlines that once used the airport have packed out because of the high cost of aviation fuel in Ghana. One of such airlines is United Airlines which abandoned the Accra/Baltimore Route with such complaints.

For instance, due to the many taxes, Ghana's aviation fuel is about 50 per cent higher than its peers in the sub-region. This has compelled many of the airlines to travel beyond the borders to refuel only to top up in Ghana.

Just like fuels for vehicles, the government has placed heavy taxes on aviation fuel as part of efforts to raise more revenue for the state.

That move has largely been condemned by experts who argue that the move was a "lazy" way to look for money for development because it makes cost of operation too expensive for those who are compelled to buy fuel to run their businesses.

Kotoka Airport as a hub
Mr Asare said massive works at the airport were underway to enable the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) to regain its lost glory and become the most preferred in the sub-region and be among the best on the continent.

He said the departure and arrival areas were being expanded and would be fitted with state-of-the-art equipment to make them more accessible and comfortable for passengers.

"We have done a lot of work on the Tarmac. We have expanded the runway and fitted them with new lights to make the area safer for landing and takeoff, he added.

According to Mr Asare, the dream of making the airport a hub was on course and noted that with all the efforts in place, a reduction in the taxes on aviation fuel would help.

Asked whether the tarmac at the airport could accommodate bigger aircraft, he replied in the affirmative saying, " The Kotoka tarmac is big enough to attract any size of aircraft. We only need to schedule such airlines properly to ensure that at the time they land, there wont be too many aircraft around so they can have the right space to manoeuvre."

SAA commended
He commended SAA for using Accra as its hub to reach America.
"It is an endorsement of the quality of the airport in terms of safety and ambience and we will work with them to make their operation a success," he said.

SAA began its maiden flight to Washington non-stop from Accra on August 2, a move many Ghanaians in the diaspora have welcomed for what they say is an opportunity to fly a true African airline.
Source: Daily Graphic

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