Views: 182 Maalimenga Wuratey, May 31, 2020,Sun Paramount Chief for the Talensi Traditional Area and Member of Council of State, Tongraan Kugbilsong N...

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Maalimenga Wuratey, May 31, 2020,Sun


Paramount Chief for the Talensi Traditional Area and Member of Council of State, Tongraan Kugbilsong Nalebtang , has called on the President to intervene in the airport location tussle in the Upper East Region.

According to the Tongraan, reported attempts by the Aviation Ministry to relocate the Airport proposed site in Bolgantanga has created an unnecessary tension which needed to be settled immediately before the situation degenerates.

It will be recalled that Minister for Aviation and MP for Navrongo Central, Joseph Kofi Adda, made a public comment to the effect that plans were far ahead to construct the Airport in Navrongo instead of Bolgatanga , the Regional Capital.

His commentary was met with a public backlash as views had it that Kofi Adda had a sinister reason for the relocation of the project to his Constituency for political gains.

But in his address when he led a delegation of Chiefs and elders from the BONABOTO area to pay a courtesy call on President Nana Akufo-Addo, Tong-Raan Kugbilsong Nalebtang, recalled that some time in 1992, the Bolgatanga airport project was started by the Regional Coordinating Council. The project he said was taken over by Ghana Civil Aviation Authority and later got halted due to funding challenges in 1994. He further said President Akufo-Addo in an address during a visit to the Upper East Region in July 2018, at a durbar in honour of him by the Chiefs and people of Bongo, a firm promise was made by the President to the people of Bongo and the Upper East Region to commence work on the Bolgatanga Airport Project on a land that had been inspected by the then Minister of Aviation Hon. Cecilia Dapaah in Bolga Sherigu.

“Contrary to your firm commitment to the people of Bongo, Hon. Joseph Kofi Adda since taking over as the Minister for Aviation following a Ministerial reshuffle has been making frantic efforts to re-develop the technically unsuitable Paga Airstrip against the interest of the
people of the Upper East and North East Regions. Mr. President, our case to retain the Bolgatanga Airport in the Regional Capital is not born out of ethnic interest but on real technical commercial considerations” He said.

The paramount chief added that, their demand that the Upper East Regional Airport to be built in Bolgatanga, the regional capital, was not born out of ethnic interest but on technical and commercial considerations.

“Bolgatanga is central in the Upper East and North East Regions and to major towns including Walewale, Bawku, Zebilla, Nalerigu, Navrongo, etc. and thus convenient for all travelers no other location meets this criterion”. “According to aviation experts, technically, a primary requirement for a modern (instrument) airport is enough airspace for landing aircraft to be
able to align onto the landing runway at 10 nautical miles which is approximately 18 km. This requirement is what results in aircrafts overflying Burkinabe airspace when the prevailing winds required a landing from the Northwesterly end of the airstrip and thus not suitable”. “National Security and Sovereignty will be compromised in times of diplomatic disagreements with Burkina Faso. It will not be possible to use Burkinabe Airspace to land in Ghana under such circumstances and thus must be discourage as a matter of prudence” Tongraan stated.

President Akufo-Addo, in response,welcomed the the appeal and indicated that “Your suggestion that we should get an independent team of experts to look at it is a solid suggestion. I admire it and we will get that done so that that matter can be out of the way.

President Nana Akufo-Addo further assured the Tong-Raana Kugbilsong Nalebtang and his delegation that all the other concerns raised including Bolgatanga town roads, the elevation of the Bolgatanga Regional Hospital to a teaching hospital and the approval for the Gurune language to be included at the Basic Education Certificate examination will be given immediate attention by his administration.

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