The establishment of the first full-service MRO facility in West Africa has moved a step closer.

    The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) is to fund a feasibility study to support the development of such a facility at Kotoka International Airport in Accra, Ghana.

    The grant was awarded to Ghana’s Aerojet Aviation, which has selected New York-based Alton Aviation Consultancy as the lead advisor to prepare the study, business plan, hangar facility design and implementation roadmap.

    “USTDA’s partnership with Aerojet will strengthen West Africa’s aviation sector by creating the region’s first MRO facility and training centre,” said USTDA’s acting director Enoh Ebong. “This will be a critical resource for regional airlines, and it will create opportunities for US companies to supply innovative technologies that will allow the facility to be truly state-of-the-art.”

    The feasibility study will include a detailed design and layout for the facility, and will evaluate different business and revenue models, sustainable energy options, operational plans, and other factors that will help attract financing to the project.

    “Having an MRO at Kotoka International Airport presents Ghana with the opportunity to cement its position as a regional and global leader in the aviation sector and boost regional economic growth, safety, security and mobility,” said Stephanie Sullivan, the US ambassador to Ghana.

    Alton Aviation Consultancy’s managing director Jonathan Berger commented: “Commercial air transport has the power to transform economies and communities, but it can only do so when reinforced by solid aviation infrastructure, including aircraft maintenance facilities. We look forward to collaborating with USTDA and Aerojet to develop the first world-class MRO operation in West Africa.”

    Aerojet Aviation’s chief executive officer Mazisi Parkes said: “We are excited about this project and grateful to the USTDA for agreeing to support the development of the MRO. The facility will serve as a centre of excellence for the delivery of critical aviation technical support services and contribute to the economic viability of regional airlines as well as national carriers. Of special importance to Aerojet is the establishment of a world-class training centre to prepare Africa’s youth for the high-tech aviation jobs of the future.”

    The USTDA’s grant supports the US government’s ‘Prosper Africa’ initiative, which aims to substantially increase two-way trade and investment between the US and Africa.