One of the first services arriving tourists require at a destination airport is transportation that would take them to other places in cases where prior arrangements had not been made for pick and drop off services. The tourists will have to make do with the airport Car Hire Services (CHS) or the Cab operators who are officially permitted to provide such services within the airport.

At the Kotoka International Airport (KIA), Accra, Ghana, passengers exiting the arrival hall will certainly come in contact with the ‘Blue shirted’ KIA Taxi Cab Operators, each with conspicuously displayed identity Cards issued by the Ghana Airport Company Limited.

The KIA Taxi Cab Operators Union is a registered entity with the Ghana Registrar General Department and the Ghana Airport Company Limited (GACL) to provide a 24 hour, safe and reliable cab transport service from the airport.

To become an Airport Cab operator, an applicant will formally apply to the union for membership with verifiable personal information and guarantors. The union will thereafter furnish the Ghana Police Service with the information provided for background checks, when clearance is received from the Police, the applicant is given provisional membership for an initial six months.

Hospitality Afrik spoke with some of the Cab operators on their slogan “Service with integrity” and where all unanimous in saying that “Service based on truth and honesty to their passengers is their primary obligation and concern”.

They gave instances where passengers had forgotten valuables and large sums of money in their cabs. In panic, such passengers had rushed back to the Airport and happily discovered that their valuables had been returned intact by the drivers concerned to their Union’s office and logged in their record books.

The Chief driver of KIA Cab operators, Isaac Tetteh, with a membership of more than 20 years in the union revealed that the major challenge to their operations arise from unscrupulous elements that come into the Airport posing as Cab operators to unsuspecting passengers who sometimes end up losing their valuables to them. He admonished passengers to only patronise the Airport Car Hire Services or Blue Shirted Cab Operators who wear Identity Cards duly issued by the appropriate authorities and where still in doubt, to seek the assistance of the Airport security.

The Airport security men are mandated to constantly keep a close watch on all vehicles entering or exiting the Airport with instructions to prevent them from picking passengers or parking illegally. The Police also maintain a non hostile presence in and at all major exit points of the Airport, all in an effort to making the Airport and its environs safer for travellers.