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A new Airport in Cape Coast Could be a Bad Savior

Generally, poor transportation systems affect cities and urban development. The nexus between airports and economic development is important because this relationship has the ability to have large implications for the future growth of a city. This is because airport connects cities and can transform the national economy.

It equally has the potential to create jobs, stimulates population growth and urban development. This implies that, employment elasticity and revenue elasticity can be calculated to measure the impact of commercial airport activities.

In the case of the Cape Coast Airport two things must be considered immediately to ensure the viability of constructing an airport for economic growth over political expediency.

Urbanization Rate of Cape Coast

To set up an airport in Cape Coast, it is imperative to consider the urbanization rate, economic and social data from the tourism industry. This should include the annual tourists’ data (foreign and domestic tourists to Cape Coast only), annual tourism income from Cape Coast tourism report and compare that to other regions of the country. 

It is also important to consider an aviation driven tourism urbanization development plan to facilitate the outcome of an airport in the central region. An airport can be set up for political expediency when the above indicators are not well dissected to perform economic tests.

Remember the Central Region was part of the Western Region until it was carved out before the 1970 population census. Until 1877, Cape Coast was the capital of the Gold Coast before it was moved to Accra. There has not been major infrastructural development except the Stadium, a technical university, University of Education Winneba, and the University of Cape Coast. It is therefore important to consider annual population growth rate and income of the region before cutting the traditional sod for an airport.

Abundance and Diversity of Tourism Resources

For the aviation industry to play the supporting role, diversity and quality of tourism resources are the foundation for the tourism industry. Currently, the central region has over 20 tourist attraction sites including the Kakum National Park, Elmina Castle, Fort Patience, Fort Victoria, beaches and well celebrated festivals. It has reach culture and with many financial institutions including Forex bureau.

This is obvious a good destination for tourism and good transport infrastructures are needed to attract revenue to the government. These infrastructures in roads, airport, rail and sea transport. This will give a number of transport options to commuters and tourists.

Beyond the Airport

Tourists want to see more than the tourist sites

Almost all tourists would be landing safely at the Kotoka International Airport in Accra. As estimated, a 2 –hour drive from the Airport/Accra to Cape Coast is possible. Most Tourists after landing on Ghana’s soil are curious to watch and observe everything along our roads. They often prefer to travel by road to see how our societies are organized and willing to tell stories about them. 

Cape Coast is not a financial or business hub of the country but almost a tourist hub. A travel by road looks the best option because tourists would have the chance to take site views of other interesting places along the Cape Coast stretch.

From Apam to Anomabo have two forts (Fort Patience and fort Williams). Travel by air may not be a good option since one may miss all the other tourists’ attraction sites along the way. Tourism is not about the capital Cape Coast but the entire central region.

Passenger originations and Cost

The usual transport template in Ghana is road. All over the country most Ghanaians travel by road from one region to another on daily basis. Traveling from the Northern part of the country to the southern part takes long hours and fatigue.

Many commuters would like to patronize air transport to the south or central region but the cost is the major barrier. The proximity of Accra and Cape Coast of about 2 hours drive would prevent many from boarding flights.

However, physical distance between Kumasi , Tamale and Cape Coast is quite far but the majority would use road transport to safe more over air transport. This may cause a huge blow and loss of investments in the short to long term targets.

Boarding volume

If the purpose of putting up airport infrastructure in Cape Coast is for tourism then we are not missing it. It is important to development the tourism industry through the close cooperation with the aviation industry.

Many people would access aviation transport when their income and living standards have improved. In Ghana’s case the cost of air transport would keep Ghanaian tourists and indigenes away. In terms of cost, people would prefer air transport to road transport if the latter is more expensive and take more hours of drive (4 hour and more) than the former.

Here in Ghana, road transport is highly affordable compared to air transport. It implies most domestic tourists would continue to patronize road transport over air due to distance and cost and some foreign tourists would access airport transports. 

It is therefore important to conduct a detailed analysis on the nexus between the indicators of activities and economic impact on tourism economy of Cape Coast airport (Ghana).  It would also be more important to dualize the Accra –Cape Coast – Takoradi highways to enhance save travel by road to access tourism facilities with ease. This would increase both domestic and foreign tourism more than ever.


Peter Bismark




photo credit: Gambeta News

2020-08-25 20:41:43

Source: ILAPI