Passengers will from January 23, 2015 be able to travel by air between Accra and Kumasi as domestic airlines start night operations.

This follows the recent rehabilitation of the 1,981-metre long runway and installation of aeronautical ground lighting system (AGL) at the Kumasi Airport.

Kumasi Airport remains the busiest local destination in the country, recording a total passenger throughput of 467,629 at the end of 2013. Last year’s figures, yet to be released by airport authorities, portend a 10 percent increase in passenger throughput as at December 2014.

Africa World Airlines, one of the three domestic operators, has announced that it will start its daily night operations — except Friday and Sunday — between Accra and Kumasi on January 23, 2015. The airline will be operating four flights between the two destinations.

The first flight leaves Accra at 6: 30 pm local time and arrives in Kumasi at 7:10pm. The return flight leaves Kumasi at 7:40pm and arrives back in Accra at 20:10pm.

On Fridays and Sundays, when traffic is high between the two capitals, AWA will operate a flight from Accra at 7:30pm and arrive at Kumasi at 20:10. The return flight will depart Kumasi at 20:40 pm and arrive in Accra at 21:20pm.

Mr. Apiigy Afenu, Chief Operations Officer of AWA said: “Before the installation of the AGL, we had restricted operational hours and we were not sweating the equipment enough; but with this we can get the utilisation up and hopefully make some profit”.

Starbow, which will soon commence its night operations to Kumasi, was optimistic about the prospects of night flights between the two capitals.

Chief Executive Officer Eric Antwi told the B&FT that: “Now we will be able to go to Kumasi in the evening as well. We also intend to operate to areas such as Sunyani and have flights from Accra-Takoradi-Kumasi and Accra-Sunyani-Kumasi, or Kumasi to Tamale.

“This, when done, will give passengers the opportunity to fly either from Takoradi to Kumasi, Takoradi to Tamale, or Takoradi to Sunyani. This will give our passengers the opportunity to enhance their businesses,” he said.

Domestic operators hitherto had to operate within a 6am-6pm window due to the absence of ground lighting at the said airport.

The Kumasi Airport has undergone extensive renovation works: two layers of the three-layer runway have been completed and the airport ground lighting systems have been installed. The precision approach path indicator at both ends of the runway, installed threshold lights; stop way, edge and end lights; installation of 32 approach lights and wind-cones are all in place.

ADB Airfield Solutions (ADB), a Belgium-based market-leading airfield technology company, undertook the Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL)-funded installation of all airfield ground lighting system.

Source: BFT