The Routes conference is an event with a unique opportunity for senior executives from airlines and airports of all sizes to come together and discuss Route Development opportunities, segment markets and present compelling strategies for operators to establish routes to their various airports.
Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL) will be hosting this year's Route conference after a two year break in the event. This is the second time in West Africa after Bamako when Mali Airport hosted Routes Africa in 2011. 250 delegates, 40 airlines, 50 airports, 15 tourism authorities and 20 top-level speakers are expected to be part of the event.
According to GACL, they have three objectives in hosting 2018 Routes Africa. First of all, ''Aviation is an important catalyst to expand and develop economies with positive multiplier effects. The Ghanaian Aviation industry is growing at a phenomenal rate and we expect it to impact positively on the national economy''.
Secondly, ''the presence of major international aviation stakeholders in Accra would put Ghana in the spotlight''. The strategy is to position Ghana as a preferred aviation hub and leader in airport business by seeing an expansion of Ghana's route network, increase in flight frequencies and improvement on the connectivity of Kotoka International Airport.
Lastly, it is a ''great opportunity for Kotoka International Airport to showcase its flagship project the Terminal 3 (T3), which is a focal point of Ghana's route development strategy.
Madam Cecilia Abena Dapaah, the Minister for Aviation, Ghana, was of the view that, the choice of of Ghana as host of the 12th Routes conference was not only timely but also strategic in that, ''Ghana will be showcased on the world map and since this forum is an assembly of industry experts and leaders, it will further boost the image of the country''.
She further went on to say that, ''this announcement by Routes Africa is a demonstration of the confidence reposed in Ghana's aviation industry coupled with Government's determination to make Ghana an aviation hub in the sub-region''.
The Honorable Minister highlighted the point that, the focus of this government was to ensure that the ''aviation industry is given the needed boost to position it strategically amongst its competitors in the sub-region and beyond''. The completion of the new Terminal 3 designed to accomodate 5 million passengers a year and to process 1,200 passengers in an hour speaks volumes of government's determination to improve the services in the sector.
She went on to say that, the ''Ministry of Aviation has over the past year been engaging various investors, both local and foreign, to partner government in establishing a Home-Based Carrier. The Home-Based carrier is expected to help the country derive maximum benefit from the aviation sector which supports 6.8 million jobs and contributes USD72.5 billion to gross domestic product (GDP) in Africa.
She duly launched the 12th Routes Africa Conference 2018 by stating that, ''I am confident that the Routes Africa event will create the needed opportunity for networking and exchange of ideas and that it will provide a forum for the media and other stakeholders to promote Ghana in a positive light''.