The old terminal building at the recently inaugurated Sunyani Airport is to be remodeled and expanded to accommodate the expected increase in passenger throughput.
The facility was officially inaugurated on Wednesday, August 3, 2023, after a seven-year closure to allow for an extensive renovation of the domestic airport sited in the middle belt.
The runway of the Sunyani Airport, under phase 1 of the rehabilitation exercise, was extended from 1,280 meters to 1,400 meters.
The extension of the runway from 1,280 meters to 1,400 meters now makes it possible for the airport to accommodate medium-sized jet planes.
Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, presenting the 2023 budget said a new terminal building is in the offing.
“In line with Government’s policy to improve air connectivity, boost trade and tourism, the Ministry rehabilitated, commissioned, and operationalised the Sunyani Airport.
The construction of Phase II of the Airport will commence in 2023. The scope of work will include extension of the existing runway, and the existing terminal building will undergo expansion and remodeling,” he said.
The domestic airline, PassionAir, has operated the Accra-Sunyani route since the official inauguration this year. Given the very good load on the route, PassionAir now operates six weekly flights on the Accra-Sunyani-Accra route in response to increased demand.
The airline operates Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 and Bombardier Dash 8 Q300 planes that can transport 78 and 50 passengers respectively.
Brief background of Sunyani Airport
The Sunyani Airport was originally constructed as an Airstrip and later upgraded into an airport in 1969. The airport currently has a total runway length of 1,520 meters made up of 1,400 meters paved and 60 meters unpaved Runway End Safety Area (RESA) at both ends.
It had the capacity to handle and process 100 passengers per hour. Since the commencement of commercial operations, the airport has not had any major renovation works, resulting in the poor state of the airport including cracks and potholes on the runway.
In 2015, the Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL) and Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) shut down the airport as a precautionary measure to forestall
any disaster. Prior to shutting it down, it was serviced by now defunct domestic airline operator, Starbow.
The rehabilitation and expansion of the airport was carried out in phases. A contract was awarded in 2018 for the rehabilitation of the existing runway, minimal renovation of the terminal building, construction of some airport internal roads and other auxiliary facilities.
Rehabilitation works are almost complete and the airport is to be opened to traffic in the next few months.