Liberia resumes Roberts Flight Information System; Guinea, Sierra Leone to benefit from Airspace Communication
Following years of infrastructural breakdown, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has dedicated a multimillion-dollar regional information system. The Roberts Flight Information Regional System is a modern international aviation communication system, usually used by countries to communicate with aircrafts flying within their airspace. (Photo: President Sirleaf cutting ribbons to the new facilities)
Prior to the civil conflict, Liberia hosted the Robert Flight Information System and provided communication access to planes flying from Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.
The new facility is located in the southeastern region of Liberia, Maryland County. Several government officials attended its dedication.
Speaking at the ceremony, the head of the Civil Aviation Authority, Mr. Richelieu Archie Williams, said the resumption of the system was a boost to Liberia and the sub-region.
“We are happy that Liberia can once more resume the Roberts Flight Information System it once had prior to the eruption of the crisis,” he said.
However, he noted that during the country’s crisis, the Roberts Flight Information System was taken to Guinea and later Sierra Leone “but it soon broke down due to conflicts in those countries.”
He further intoned that prior to the resumption of the System; it became extremely difficult for free flow of communication with flights moving within the Liberian territory.
But Mr. Williams said with the resumption of the information system, it creates 100 percent communication for the three countries, regardless of the number of flights traveling to these countries.
The Civil Aviation Authority boss averred that the 100 percent signal communication system will serve as a motivation factor for bigger international airlines to fly to Liberia.
He told the President and other guests that already the Civil Aviation has begun experiencing a huge increase in flights to Liberia. Mr. Williams said unlike the past, where the country recorded a total of 6,000 flights to Liberia annually, said number has since increased under his leadership to 17,000 since 2011.
During the event, citizens of Maryland County expressed overwhelming joy at the fact that their county was chosen to host the information system.
Saturday’s event was also characterized by cultural performances, following which the President’s office dished out gifts to citizens.
For his part, Transport Minister Eugene Nagbe said he was proud to be part of such a program, pledging his Ministry’s commitment to developing the transport sector of Liberia.
“I am proud to be part of such a wonderful event,” he said.” “We can assure Liberians that we are doing our best to achieve the President’s 150-days deliverable challenge given us,” he added.
He then thanked the citizens for providing the land for the construction of the facility and called for more collaboration between the citizens and the Civil Aviation Authority.
Also addressing the event was President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who thanked the citizens of Maryland for the level of work done in the county. “I am happy with the level of development taking place over here,” President Sirleaf said. “These are the kinds of things that we want to see each time we come to Maryland.”
The Liberian leader also applauded the citizens for “their high level of support” received during last year’s presidential and legislative elections that helped secure her second term. “I have also come to say thank you for all the support during the elections. I am so proud of you people,” she added.
She said the resumption of the Roberts Flight Information Regional System calls for celebration and lauded the efforts of the officials of the Civil Aviation Authority for the great job.
President Sirleaf, however, ended her brief remarks by calling on the citizens to work with their county officials in moving Maryland County forward.
Written by Stephen Binda from Maryland, Liberia
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