International travelers to or from Ghana commonly use Kotoka International Airport located in Accra, Ghana. The airport also provides domestic service in the area but is principally known as the only international airport in the country and the only airport capable of accommodating long-haul aircraft such as the Boeing 747. About 1.5 million passengers pass through the gates each year. As one of the few airports capable of handling the long-haul aircraft in western Africa, the airport continues to grow with increases in flight and passenger numbers.
The airport bears the name of Emmanuel Kwasi Kotoka who served as a military and political leader of Ghana prior to his death in a coup attempt in 1967. His death occurred at the airport and is marked by a statue in his honor. The airport was previously known as Ghana International Airport. Its airport code of ACC refers to the city it is located near.
Passengers are handled at one of three terminals at Kotoka International Airport. Terminal 1 is dedicated to budget, regional and local air carriers while Terminal 2 handles the international flights. The third terminal is identified as a VIP terminal for high profile passengers such as government and business leaders. All terminals connect through a network of walkways and halls between buildings. The terminals include about 25 check-in counters serving five gates. Amenities in the departure areas include Internet access in all classes of lounge.
International passengers changing flights at Kotoka International Airport should allow at least one hour between flights. Travelers departing from the airport should arrive two hours before flight time. Passengers with their own vehicles will find about 1,000 parking spaces in two secured parking areas.
Kotoka Airport Stats
About 20,000 takeoffs and landings occur on the airports single runway. The 3,400 meter or 11,000 foot runway includes lighting and a Category II instrument landing system. The airport operates around the clock but requires noise restriction operations for some aircraft. The runway is capable of handling the Boeing 747 sized aircraft.
One of the factors driving the traffic increases at Kotoka International Airport is its service to the United States. The Federal Aviation Administration limits the airports that can fly directly to the United States based on security facilities and other factors. Kotoka is one of just five African airports to be so certified. As the only international airport in Ghana it is also the gateway to that country increasing traffic at the airport.
A cargo terminal provides service to a number of airfreight carriers operating from Kotoka to destinations in Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. Ground services include health inspections for livestock along with quarantine facilities, bonded storage, and freezer storage. The cargo terminal handles about 45,000 tons of freight each year.
Future plans at Kotoka International Airport include replacing Terminal 1 or the domestic terminal to improve the passenger capacity for local and regional flights. Increased capacity for the domestic terminal may allow some of the carriers utilizing Terminal 2 to relocate reducing stress on that facility. Additional upgrades will increase to double the space dedicated for parking aircraft between flights.