Leaked memo shows Ghana’s only international airport to be run by a private firm

The Ghanaian government is considering a proposal to allow a private company to manage the affairs of the Kotoka International Airport (KIA).

Terminal 3 of Kotoka International Airport

This was revealed in a memo before the country’s cabinet.

According to Accra-based Starr FM, the private firm proposed to manage the KIA is TAV Airport Holding Company Limited.

The company will see to the “day to day operations, including facility maintenance and fees collections.”

The aim of the proposal, according to the leaked cabinet document, is “to help bring about physical development of the airport enclave and transform the KIA into a world-class airport with improved managerial efficiency.”

The document prepared by the Aviation Minister for Cabinet consideration said under its Concession Agreement clause that: “As payment for their services, the concessionaires receive a percentage of the gross revenues from the operation of the airport but are required to pay the airport owner the greater of this percentage amount or a minimum annual guaranteed amount.”

It added: “The Concessionaires assume most of the risk for potential downturns in the airport revenues but also receive a greater reward if there is an unexpected increase in airline passenger traffic.”

The proposal further indicated that the terminals at the KIA will be managed by “airlines or other airport managers.”

However, the draft proposal pointed out that the “ownership of the airport and its operations are the responsibility of the State. The State recovers from the terminal manager its allocable operating and maintenance expenses according to the guidelines of the terminal lease. The terminal manager will pay all other operating and maintenance expenses and in turn recover all the costs and expenses, in addition to the management fee, from the airlines through quarterly user charges.”

According to the Ministry the participation of the private sector “will bring about the needed equity investment for the transformation of the sector thereby making the KIA achieve the competitive status within the West African Sub-region and the continent as a whole.”

“The action by the government will promote the sound development of airports in Ghana with due regards to the interest of airport users and the general public. This partnership will promote efficient and economic development and cooperation of airports not only within Ghana but with airports and airlines worldwide to foster growth in all sectors of the economy,” it added.

The airport is currently being managed by the Ghana Airports Company Limited.

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