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Government to revamp Yendi, Navrongo, Mole airstrips in October

    Accra, Sept. 28, GNA – The Ministry of Aviation will spearhead the revamping of three airstrips in Yendi, Navrongo and Mole in October 2020 after securing funds, as part of the 34 airstrips and airports it has identified to need refurbishment.
   The three airstrips were identified as the most inactive that needed revamping to make them suitable for commercial passenger operations.
   A statement from the Ministry of Aviation, copied to the Ghana News Agency on Monday, said the Minister of the sector and technical persons identified the immediate need of the airstrips after paying visits to the Kete-Krachi, Mole, Navrongo and Yendi locations.
    “This is because the airstrips are found intact with little or no encroachment, had enough space for the extension of the runway’s length and width, and the traditional rulers and opinion leaders of the area were supportive and willing to help the government to secure the sites.
   “The Yendi and Navrongo airstrips, for instance, have been in existence since 1940 and were used as strategic airstrips by the National Guard which defended part of the country’s northern border during the Second World War,” the statement explained.
It said the Yendi airstrip has a length of 1,500 metres and enough land for the runway to be extended, adding that, the current width extended to 300-150 metres on each side of the runway.
   Mr Joseph Kofi Adda, the Sector Minister, on the visit at Yendi said: “The President has directed us to construct as many airports and airstrips as possible to boost business and improve tourism.
   “The Yendi airstrip has been in existence since the 1940s. Fortunately, the encroachment is not too much. There is still a lot of lands for us to expand the width by 150 metres on each side.
   “We will have to add 300 metres to the existing 1,500 metre-long runway to bring it up to 1,800 metres. A double seal of the runway will also be done so that light passenger aircraft can safely operate to Yendi.
   “This is something that can be done in a month or two for us to open up the Eastern side of Dagbon.”
    The statement said the visit to Navrongo airstrip showed that the decades-old airstrip was still intact, well compacted and used frequently by the Ghana Air Force.  It currently measures 1,500 metres long and 24 metres wide.
    Mr Adda speaking on the development of the airstrips said: “Designs have been done, feasibility completed, funding has been secured, and we are waiting for the signing of the commercial agreement.
   “The sponsors have come with funds to show what they are available and the Minister for Finance has looked at it and it’s fairly reasonable to us. So we are waiting for the approval from the Finance Ministry to say whether it fits into their financial framework; that’s what we are waiting for to proceed,” he added.