Government Of Liberia Strives To Revamp RIA

Roberts International Airport
Roberts International Airport
Photo Credit: Popo le Chien

Monrovia, August 15, 2012: Former Transport Minister, Eugene Lenn Nagbe on Tuesday, August 14, 212, disclosed and assured Liberians that making the Roberts International Airport a modern Class A international  airport not only in the sub-region as a regional hub but on the continent of Africa in three years remains one of the top priorities of his administration at the Ministry of Transport.


Addressing hundreds of Liberians including the Chair and Co-Chairpersons of the Senate and House Committees on Transport, Members of the Cabinet, Executives of Airlines operating in Liberia, Stakeholders in the transport sector as well as staff and employees of the Roberts International Airport on Tuesday, August 14, 2012, during an official program marking the induction ceremony of Mr. Julius Dennis as the new General Manager of the Airport  along with his two deputies, Minister Nagbe averred that the RIA which should be the nation’s pride is indeed a national eye sore which needs urgent cure. He expressed sincere appreciation to President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf whom he said has shown tremendous interest in the airport development and the aviation sector as a whole.


Former Minister Nagbe told his audience that demonstrative of his desire to see Liberia gets a modern Class A International Airport, an airport master plan has been developed by his Ministry which has been endorsed by the President of Liberia. He stressed that the Liberia Airport Authority (LAA) recently signed a USD$10,000,000.00 agreement with a foreign firm, NOCAL for the company to carry on a comprehensive technical assessment of the entire airport to enable decision makers to make informed decision as to how the project proceeds.


Touching on other issues, Hon. Nagbe admonished the new management team to accede to those standards set by the Pacific American Engineering (PAE). He commended the outgoing General Manager, Mr. James Ebanks for his achievements during his nearly three-year tenure at the airport and wished him success in his future endeavors.


He emphasized that the betterment of the working condition of employees of the airport remains also cardinal. He therefore encouraged management and employees to build esprit de corps (harmonious relations). He told employees that there is a framework to seek redress to their grievances instead of resulting to arbitrary actions which will undermine and impede the growth of the entity.


Concluding, former Minister Nagbe appealed to the National Legislature for the timely passage of the 2012/2013 National Fiscal Budget to enable the Airport Management to begin tackling those emergency problems at the airport including the runway, Lighting System, Aeronautical Equipment etc. for which the USD$10,000,000.00 (10 Million) is being earmarked in said budget.


The Outgoing Manager of the Roberts International Airport, Mr. James Ebanks thanked the Minister of Transport, Director General of the Liberia Civil Aviation Authority, Staff and employees of the RIA and all stakeholders for the cooperation accorded him during his nearly three-year tenure which he said immensely contributed to his achievements.


The newly appointed General Manager, Hon. Julius D. Dennis in an acceptance remarks told the audience that his vision is to transform the Roberts International Airport and its surrounding areas into a thriving world class airport city which will serve as a regional hub. He said the actualization of this vision hinges on the development of a comprehensive master plan that will provide the basis for future operational expectations and the logical path it needs to take to fulfill them.  He said the mission of the new management team is to consistently give customers a comfortable airport experience through the provision of safe, efficient and effective airport facilities and services in an environmentally sustainable manner. He concluded as saying that embedded in the core value of the new management team is a high level of customers focus, integrity, professionalism, teamwork, creativity, innovation, good corporate governance, environmental sustainability and corporate social responsibility. He appealed for the concerted efforts of all employees of the airport and full cooperation of all stakeholders.


In separate remarks, the Chair and Co-Chairpersons of the Senate and House Standing Committees on Transport, Senator Geraldline Doe Sheriff and Representative Edward Kafia expressed appreciation of being invited to attend the program and pledged the collective support of their respective committees to support the passage of the pending budget of USD $10, 000,000.00 (10 Million) for the airport. They assured that they will stand by the new management team when in need. They acknowledged the challenges but called on the new management team to work harder to standardize the airport. They also stressed the need for accountability and transparency at the airport.


Liberia Airport Authority (LAA) Board Chairman, Hon. Musa H. Bility decried the flooding of the airport with so many security personnel and called for the synchronization of the security into a unit in line with international best practice. He commended the Outgoing Manager, James Ebanks without whom he said the airport would not have achieved the progress made thus far. He stressed that dignity and respect be given employees of the Airport.


In other development, the Director  General of the Liberia Civil Aviation Authority (LCAA), Hon. Richelieu Williams and managements of the various airlines operating in the country present at the occasion commended the outgoing General Manager for the job well done and pledged their full cooperation to the new management team.


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