Kotoka International Airport (IATA: ACC, ICAO: DGAA) is an international airport in Accra, the capital of Ghana. The airport is operated by Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL), which has its offices on the airport property. It is the sole international airport in Ghana.
In 2019, the airport served a record 3 million passengers, although this reduced to 1.2 million in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, before rebounding to 2.8 million by 2022. It presently serves as a hub for domestic and regional operator Africa World Airlines, and a base for domestic operator Passion Air.
The airport consists of two passenger terminals, Terminal 2 and Terminal 3. Terminal 2 serves only domestic flights, while Terminal 3 serves regional, international and long-haul operators. Terminal 1 is presently no longer in use, but will be redeveloped into an FBO. Terminal 3 has the capacity for large aircraft such as the Airbus A380.
The airport was originally a military airport used by 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. 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.
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. The sod cutting was done by President John Dramani Mahama and Turkish President Recep Tayyib Erdogan. 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 opened to passengers on 15 September 2018.
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 from General Kotoka. Many argue that the airport was built by Nkrumah, and that it is not fitting to name it after Kotoka, who led a coup to overthrow Nkrumah’s government