An unnamed investor has submitted proposals to the ministry responsible for Public Private Partnership (PPP) to develop the Wa Airstrip for use by domestic airline to serve the area.
B&FT understands that discussions are currently on-going and there is the prospect of developing the airstrip by the close of the year.
The Minister of State in charge of PPP, Rashid Pelpuo, confirmed that his outfit has indeed received a proposal to that effect.
There are currently five operational domestic airports in the country — Kotoka International Airport’s Terminal One and the Kumasi, Sunyani , Takoradi and Tamale Airports.
However, the increase in domestic passenger traffic over the last two years — particularly, the Accra-Kumasi and Accra-Tamale routes, has led to calls for rehabilitation of the Wa airstrip in the Upper West Region to serve the northern-most part of the country.
Passenger arrival and departure recorded on all domestic destinations rose from 199,000 in 2011 to 544,000 in 2012. In 2013, domestic passenger throughput hit 778,466.
Passenger throughput to Tamale in 2013 stood at 162,000. All four operators currently operate multiple flights to Tamale.
A significant number of the travelling passengers to Tamale do so for onward connections by road to the Upper East and Western Regions and Burkina Faso.
The distance from the Tamale airport to Wa and Bolgatanga is 194 miles and 100miles respectively by road.
The Upper West region has a population of about 577,000, representing about three percent of the national population. The regional capital, Wa, is home to some, 224,000 people — most of whom work with non-governmental organisations operating in the region, and students of the Wa campus of the University of Development Studies (UDS).
The strategic importance of the region also lies in intra-trading activities between the country and its northern neighbour, Burkina Faso.
The land-locked country relies on Ghana and other West African countries for its maritime imports, which are carted by land through the Upper West and Upper East Regions to the Burkinabe capital, Ouagadougou.