Airport operator and manager Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL) broke ground on the construction of its flagship project (Terminal 3) at Kotoka International Airport (KIA) in March 2016.

The project is a part of GACL’s capital investment programme that entails the construction of a new terminal at KIA, the only international airport in the country, and the rehabilitation of other regional airports managed by GACL.

The new terminal will ease the pressure on the existing two terminals and is expected to handle up to five million passengers a year, with an expansion potential up to 6.5 million passengers. Construction of the new terminal will be completed by the end of July 2017.

The two-year expansion at KIA is expected to generate 900 temporary jobs and 760 permanent jobs during the operations and maintenance phase.

Objectives of KIA’s expansion

The airport expansion supports the country’s ambition to upgrade its vital infrastructure by modernising and transforming the airport into a gateway for West Africa and as a regional aviation hub. It is also expected to contribute to the country’s economy by facilitating market connectivity and by reducing the cost of doing business.

The expansion also supports the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda that emphasises the need for rehabilitating and expanding infrastructural facilities in the transport sector.

The project is also in line with the priorities identified in the National Airport System Plan 2014.

KIA’s new terminal design details

The new terminal at KIA is designed to meet the latest International Air Transport Association (IATA) requirements based on optimum service level.

The terminal can be accessed from a new main road to be constructed as part of the project. Main entrance will be located in front of the central check-in hall, making it easy to enter the terminal. The check-in hall will be designed with architecture that incorporates expressive forms reflecting Ghanaian culture and values. Surface car parking will also be located within walkable distance from the terminal.

Kotoka airport Terminal 3 details

Designed for international traffic, the new terminal will comprise five levels spread across an area of 45,000m². The terminal will feature six contact stands for Code E aircraft and two additional remote stands.

The new terminal will have capacity to process 1,250 passengers a peak hour, a large retail and commercial area, three business lounges, six fixed links and seven air bridges expandable to eight, and parking space with capacity to handle more than 700 cars.

The departure level of the terminal will feature 56 check-in desks, 30 passport control counters, of which four will be e-gate positions, and eight security lanes. The arrival level will house 24 immigration counters, four e-gate positions expandable to eight, and four reclaim devices.

A fully automated baggage handling system designed in accordance with the latest European Civil Aviation Conference Hold Baggage Screening (ECAC HBS) requirements will also be provided to handle 3,500 bags an hour.

Contractors involved

The new Terminal 3 project is a design and build concept undertaken by Turkish construction company Mapa Construction MNG Holding (Mapa İnşaat ve Ticaret).


The total $400m investment for the programme iincludes renovations to the GACL-owned regional airports. In September 2015, the African Development Bank (AfDB) approved a $120m loan with a tenor of up to 15 years for the project. It is the first private-sector investment made by the bank in Ghana’s transport sector.

The remaining amount will be financed partly by AfDB and partly through corporate loans from other development financial institutions and commercial banks.


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