"You welcome". Ghanaians love to say this when meeting you. And you feel it.
As a port of entry into the country, the new terminal welcomes you with wide-open arms, smiles and the freedom of a visa on arrival.
Ultra-modern, this is an African airport by Africans, for Africans.
The Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL) along with Airports Company South Africa (ACSA), who has aided, advised and partnered with airports like Guarulhos International Airport in São Paulo, Brazil in the past, has undergone a project like no other in the region.
Kotoka International Airport, Terminal 3 is shiny and new.
With top-notch security, like state-of-the-art x-rays, a hyper-modern baggage handling system and I-validate technology (a system that electronically validates your boarding pass before heading into security check); the positives of this new terminal are endless. Both for passengers transiting through this airport, or visiting Accra itself.
With visa on arrival for South Africans and other African countries, GACL is open and committed to making the customer experience as seamless and possible.
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The terminal now processes around 1250 passengers per hour, with an ultimate goal set at a 5 million passenger flow through its doors per year.
Hoping to become the hub of sub-regional travel, competition is everything. To reach hub status, you need the facilities. ACSA, who has truly 'been there and got the t-shirt' has been crucial in advising GACL throughout this gargantuan project - working towards future growth, creating an African airport that adheres to Euro standards, and needs.
Pilots entering the new Terminal 3. (Photo: Marisa Crous)
The terminal space. (Photo: Marisa Crous)
I-validate systems. (Photo: Marisa Crous)
A bustling new aviation hub. (Photo: Marisa Crous)
Local goods sold at the new terminal. (Photo: Marisa Crous)
The lush business lounges. (Photo: Marisa Crous)
The ultra-modern exterior. (Photo: Marisa Crous)
Accra wants to distinguish itself from the likes of Lagos and Dakar. It wants to grow, offer better services, faster turn-around times for airlines, superb duty-free and retail spaces, better customer-service, be user-friendly and offer superior security. Ultimately building the reputation of being the best in the region. Convincing domestic and international travellers to choose Kotoko, Terminal 3.
Ghana, which doesn't have its own national carrier, is actively pursuing the business of more and more world-class airlines. Already catering to destinations from Kotoka to North America, it also plans to add South American routes. Brazil, a mere 6 hours from Accra.
Business travellers have the option of Airport City, populated with luxe hotels, or transiting through Kotoka, where business lounging is taken very seriously. Three pristine and lush lounges offer business travellers only the best.
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But like a delicious jollof, all the right ingredients need to work together to create something special.
In Accra, at Kotoka, it's the people. An air of pride, collaboration and transparency is almost tangible. From GACL's workings with ACSA to the visa of arrival officials handing you your approved documents, it's a space where you always know "You welcome".
*Disclaimer: Marisa Crous was hosted on behalf of Traveller24 by Airports Company South Africa for the review of the opening of the new airport terminal in Accra, Ghana.
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