Fiifi Kwetey, the Minister of Transport, has confirmed to Citi Business News, efforts by the Lands Commission to soon hand over title deeds of the airport lands to the Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL).
According to him, the move if successful will halt the excessive encroachment of the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) lands.
Lack of title to lands belonging to the GACL Citi Business News understands is encouraging an uncontrolled encroachment on the company’s properties.
The practice is compromising safety in and around the airport; a situation authorities have bemoaned.
But speaking to Citi Business News during the tour of the Kotoka International Airport to inspect ongoing work on terminal 3 and completion of the terminal 2 expansion projects, Fiifi Kwetey said plans were far advanced in securing the title for the airport lands.
“We are constantly in discussion with the management of the airport and the Lands Commission. We are confident that we will see to that and very soon, the Airport Company will be given the title. This is because assurance we have been given shows that preparation is far advanced to hand over the final title deeds of the airport lands to the airport authorities,” he assured.
Fiifi Kwetey also indicated that the land title will allow government and the airport company to commence the airport city ‘2’ project.
“The truth of the matter is that there is not going to be a possibility with regards to moving ahead with the concept of the new airport city ‘2’ project unless we are able to secure that,
“The airport city ‘2’ is the next important step for the transformation of the airport that is why the land title is important.”
Meanwhile the Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL) is seeking a legal framework (Legislative Instrument) to back its functions.
According to the GACL, it lacks the appropriate legal framework to compliment the company’s mandate under the Companies Act.
The country’s only international airport is not clearly delineated, leaving the state-owned airports company established in 2006 in no position to fight off encroachers who are currently building on the airports.
The Director of Legal Services at the GACL, Joyce Bannerman – Wood told Citi Business News it is in talks with the Transport Ministry to obtain statutory powers for the GACL.
“We are doing this to prevent encroachers, making sure that people abide by regulations that are peculiar to the management and operations of airports with us as the operators. We should have those particular powers and that is why we are asking for that enabling legislation which would go to compliment our mandate under the Companies Act to enable us operate. That is absent and we are working hard with the ministry of transport on that,” she explained.
The said legislation when approved is expected to authorize and empower the GACL in its functions like halting encroachment of airports lands.