Paramount Chief of the Bonaboto in the Talansi Traditional Area and Member of the Council of State, Tong-Raana Kugbilsong Nalebtang Robert Mosore, has made a passionate appeal to President Akufo-Addo to give consideration to maintaining Bolgatanga as the location for the Upper East Regional Airport instead of in Paga.
The traditional leader made the appeal at the Jubilee House today the 29th of May 2020 when he led a delegation of Chiefs and elders from the Bonaboto area to pay a courtesy call on President Akufo-Addo.
In his address, Tong-Raana Kugbilsong Nalebtang Robert Mosore, 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 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” the Bonaboto Paramount Chief said.
The Case for Bolga and not Paga
The paramount chief added that their case in demanding that the Upper East Regional Airport be built in Bolgatanga, the regional capital, is not born out of ethnic interest but on real technical and commercial considerations.
“Bolgatanga is central in the Upper East and North East Regions and to
major towns including Walewale, Bawku, Zebila, 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 resuts 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” Tong-Raana Kugbilsong Nalebtang Robert Mosore said in defence of his demand.
President Akufo-Addo, in response to the suggestion about the citing of the Upper East Regional Airport said he welcomes the appeal for an independent team of Aviation experts to be constituted to study the situation and to advice government on the most appropriate location for the airport.
“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 Akufo-Addo said.
President Akufo-Addo further assured the Tong-Raana Kugbilsong Nalebtang Robert Mosore and his delegation that all the other concerns they have about Bolgatanga town roads, the elevation of the Bolgatanga Regional Hospital to a teaching hospital and the approval for the Grurene language to be included at the Basic Education Certificate examination will be given immediate attention by his administration.