Kotoka International Airport

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Kotoka International Airport
Accra Air Force Station
Accra Kotoka International Airport.JPG
Airport type Public / Military
Operator Ghana Airports Company Ltd
Serves Accra, Greater Accra
Hub for
Time zone Greenwich Mean Time (0+)
 • Summer (DST) GMT (1+)
Elevation AMSL 205 ft / 62 m
Coordinates 05°36′16.8″N 000°10′02.6″W / 5.604667°N 0.167389°W / 5.604667; -0.167389Coordinates: 05°36′16.8″N 000°10′02.6″W / 5.604667°N 0.167389°W / 5.604667; -0.167389
Website [1]
ACC is located in Ghana
Location of the airport in Ghana
Direction Length Surface
ft m
03/21 11,165 3,403 Asphalt
Statistics (2014)
Passengers 2,547,527

Kotoka International Airport (IATA: ACCICAO: DGAA) in Accra, the capital of Ghana, is an international airport, and has the capacity for large aircraft such as the Boeing 747-8. The airport is operated by Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL), which has its offices on the airport property.[4] GACL was established as a result of the decoupling of the existing Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) in line with the modern trends in the aviation industry.

In 2014, the airport saw 2.547 million passengers. It presently serves as a base for domestic operators Africa World Airlines, Starbow Airlines, and Antrak Air.

The airport consists of two passenger terminals, named Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. Terminal 1 primarily servers domestic and regional operators, while Terminal 2 primarily serves international and long-haul operators. The terminals are connected by an internal walkway. There is also a VVIP terminal used for diplomatic flights, and a military terminal used for military operations. Terminal 2 is the principal international departure terminal and includes restaurants, duty-free shops, and two Business Class lounges.

There are two departure lounges located after Immigration. Adinkra, which is managed by Aviance, and Akwaaba, under the management of AHS Menzies. There is a general seating area with a duty-free shop and bars for passenger. In addition, the State Protocol Lounge is used by Senior Government Officials/Diplomats and VVIPS.


The airport was originally a military airport used the British Royal Air Force during World War II. The facility was handed over to civilian authorities after the war. A development project was launched in 1956 by President Kwame Nkrumah to reconfigure the structure into a terminal building. The project was completed in 1958, turning the military base into an airport with a capacity of 500,000 passengers per year[5]. The airport was originally named Accra International Airport.

In 1969, the Accra International Airport was renamed Kotoka International Airport, in honour of Lieutenant General Emmanuel Kwasi Kotoka (1926–1967), a member of the National Liberation Council. Kotoka was killed in an abortive coup attempt at a location which is now the forecourt of the airport.

The airport company was registered in January 2006 and commenced trading on 1 January 2007, tasked with the responsibility for planning, developing, managing and maintaining all airports and aerodromes in Ghana, namely Kotoka International Airport (KIA), and domestic airports at Kumasi's Kumasi International Airport, Sunyani's Sunyani Airport and Sekondi-Takoradi's Takoradi Airport.

Construction officially commenced on 1 March 2016 on a new $274 million Terminal 3 which is capable of handling 5 million passengers a year, with an expansion potential of up to 6.5 million, and will be equipped with new state of the art facilities. The new Terminal 3 will handle 1,250 passengers an hour, equipped with three business lounges, large commercial and retail area and six boarding bridges. The terminal is expected to be completed by the end of May 2018.[6][7]

Controversy Over Airport Name

There has been considerable debate over the years as to whether it was fitting to rename the airport from Accra International Airport to Kotoka International Airport after General Kotoka. Many argue that the airport was built by Nkrumah, and that it is not fitting to rename it after Kotoka, who led a coup to overthrow Nkrumah's government. [8][9][10]

Airlines and destinations


Airlines Destinations
Air Burkina Abidjan, Ouagadougou
Air Namibia Lagos (begins 29 June 2018)[11], Windhoek–Hosea Kutako (resumes 29 June 2018)[12]
Africa World Airlines Abuja, Kumasi, Lagos, Monrovia, Takoradi, Tamale
Air Côte d'Ivoire Abidjan
Air France Paris–Charles de Gaulle
Air Peace Lagos
Arik Air Abuja, Lagos, Monrovia[13]
ASKY Airlines Lomé
British Airways London–Heathrow
Brussels Airlines Brussels
Ceiba Intercontinental Airlines Malabo
Cronos Airlines Malabo
Dana Air Lagos
Delta Air Lines New York–JFK
EgyptAir Cairo
Emirates Abidjan, Dubai–International
Ethiopian Airlines Addis Ababa
Kenya Airways Freetown, Monrovia, Nairobi–Jomo Kenyatta
KLM Amsterdam
Med-View Airline Freetown, Monrovia, Lagos
Meridiana Milan–Malpensa
Middle East Airlines Beirut
Royal Air Maroc Casablanca
RwandAir Abidjan,[14] Abuja (begins 15 April 2018)[15], Kigali
Starbow Airlines Kumasi, Sunyani, Takoradi, Tamale (all flights suspended)[16]
South African Airways Abidjan, Johannesburg–OR Tambo, Washington-Dulles
TAP Air Portugal Lisbon, São Tomé
Turkish Airlines Istanbul–Atatürk



Airlines Destinations
Cargolux Luxembourg
DHL Aviation
operated by Swiftair
Abidjan, Lagos
Emirates SkyCargo Dubai-Al Maktoum
Ethiopian Airlines Cargo Lagos, Addis Ababa, Liège
Qatar Airways Cargo Lagos, Doha, Brussels
Swiftair Abidjan, Lagos
Turkish Airlines Cargo Maastricht/Aachen, Istanbul-Atatürk

Accidents and incidents

  • On 5 June 2000, a Ghana Airlink Fokker F-27 en route from Tamale to Accra crashed on approach to Kotoka International Airport. Six people were killed.[17]
  • On 28 January 2009, a Ghana International Airlines Boeing 757 operating from Accra to London Gatwick, United Kingdom, with 96 passengers and nine crew reported anomalies with the control systems when climbing out of Accra. The crew declared a mayday and made a safe return to Kotoka International Airport where the remains of a beetle-like creature were discovered to be obstructing the left pitot system.[18]
  • On 2 June 2012, an Allied Air Boeing 727 cargo aircraft operating from Lagos to Accra on behalf of DHL with 4 crew overshot the runway while landing in heavy rain. At least 12 people on the ground were killed. The 4 crew all survived.[19]
  • On 10 January 2015 an ASKY Airlines Boeing 737-43QSF (leased to Ethiopian Airlines), was damaged beyond repair in a landing accident and runway excursion at Kotoka International Airport, Accra, Ghana. The aircraft was written off and there were no fatalities.


  1. ^ "Arik Air Launch Scissor Hub in Accra from late-April 2014". Airline Route. 28 April 2014. Retrieved 28 April 2014. 
  2. ^ "Airport Traffic Statistics". Ghana Airports Company Limited. Retrieved 15 September 2012. 
  3. ^ List of the busiest airports in Africa
  4. ^ "Ghana Airports Company Ltd". Retrieved 21 January 2018. . "Ghana Airports Company Ltd".
  5. ^ "Ghana Airports Company Limited | Home :: GACL". www.gacl.com.gh. Retrieved 2018-01-24. 
  6. ^ "US$274m Terminal Three opens next year". www.ghanaweb.com. 
  7. ^ "KIA Terminal 3 project set to complete May 2018". 4 August 2017. 
  8. ^ "Kwame Nkrumah International Airport - Why Not?". www.ghanaweb.com. Retrieved 2018-01-24. 
  9. ^ "Renaming Kotoka International Airport- A slight difference". www.ghanaweb.com. Retrieved 2018-01-24. 
  10. ^ Graphic, Daily. "Rename Kotoka International Airport - Samia Nkrumah - Graphic Online". www.graphic.com.gh. Retrieved 2018-01-24. 
  11. ^ http://www.airnamibia.com/windhoek-lagos-accra-route-announcement/
  12. ^ http://www.airnamibia.com/windhoek-lagos-accra-route-announcement/
  13. ^ https://www.arikair.com/sites/default/files/Schedule_15July.pdf
  14. ^ 2017, UBM (UK) Ltd. "Rwandair network adjustment from Sep 2016". Retrieved 30 May 2017. 
  15. ^ https://www.routesonline.com/news/38/airlineroute/277172/rwandair-adds-new-african-destinations-in-2q18/
  16. ^ "Starbow halts operations after crash at Kotoka". 
  17. ^ "Cargo plane crashes in Ghanaian capital, killing 10 on bus". BNO News. 4 June 2012. Retrieved 4 June 2012. 
  18. ^ "Serious incident" (PDF). aaib.gov.uk (PDF). 
  19. ^ "Update: 10 dead as Cargo plane crashes into Hajj Village". edition.myjoyonline.com. 2 August 2012. 

External links

Media related to Kotoka International Airport at Wikimedia Commons

  • Kotoka Airport Portal
  • Official Website
  • Ghana Civil Aviation Authority

Airport information for DGAA at World Aero Data. Data current as of October 2006.

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