Expert questions need for airport in Upper East Region, says high-speed rails are better
Aerospace Medicine specialist, Dr Yakubu Akparibo says there is no need to construct an airport in Upper East Region as promised by the NDC in their 2020 manifesto.
According to him, looking at the factors involved including economic, safety need and promotion of general aviation, the airports in Tamale and Wa are enough for the Regions in Northern Ghana.
“Bolgatanga to Tamale is about 150km. We already have an international airport in Tamale and you want another in Bolgatanga?”
“Is there really an economic need, is there a safety issue with the Tamale airport that you want to explore near towns? If you look at all the factors, I don’t think there is the need to have another airport,” he said on Newsnight on Joy FM, Tuesday.
Dr Akparibo said that it will be more beneficial if the party rather invest in a high-speed rail between Bolgatanga and Tamale.
He explained that with the rail when people want to catch an international flight to Tamale they could use the rail to connect to town in the Upper East Region.
Flagbearer of the NDC John Mahama, on Monday, during his manifesto reading promised to build an airport in the Upper East region.
According to him, the land for the project was secured before he left office in 2017.
Reacting to his promise, some residents in the Region welcomed the news saying it will shorten their trips between the regions.
Others said it will boost tourism in the area since many people will have easy access to the Region.
Also speaking on Newsnight, NDC aspiring MP for Abura Asebu Kwamankese, Felix Ofosu Kwakye, explined the party’s intentions that inspired the promise.
He stated that there have been complaints from people, who board flights to Tamale, that it takes long hours to get ready and hit the road for their journey to the Upper East.
He said that NDC’s promise was to ensure people have easy access to the region without worrying about tiredness or long hours.
However, Dr Akparibo insisted that the best option for the party was to rather invest in the rail which could reduce the two hours 40 minutes travel between the two places.
“You can construct an airport anywhere but is there really a need for it? We can have an airport in Ho but we don’t use it the one, there’s one in Wa, few flights started going there but as it is now we don’t even use that.”
“I don’t think that our priorities should be getting airports in these cities, we should rather be thinking of constructing a high-speed rail.”