Rainbow Alliance Bemoans Security Risks at RIA -Wants Alternative Airport

By: Stephen G. Fellajuah\

MONROVIA – The Rainbow Alliance, an alternative opposition collaboration comprising mushroom parties, has expressed discontent over the dying condition of the Robert International Airport that has raised security implications.

Against the backdrop while speaking during the weekend at the 17th of September, 2022’s Emergency National Convention of the Movement for Economic Empowerment (MOVEE), the Chairman of the Rainbow Alliance, Mr. Reginald Goodridge indicated that the failure of the Liberian government to address the risks at the airport is as the result of missteps coupled with self- aggrandizement and greed.

“I had a friend who was traveling to the United States Friday with SN Brussel and he found out that the airline cancelled its flight because of security concerns at the Robert International Airport (RIA).

“I have been disquieted by the dying condition at our international airport, security systems are not working and there is a constant power outage which affects lights in the runway. And for me it is a personal safety issue and for many of us and for our international visitors”, said Chairman Goodridge.

He wondered where in the world a country is depending on one single airport, saying anytime something happens at the RIA, flight has to fly for one hour to Sierra Leone or 55 minutes to Conakry, Guinea when the country has an airport (James Spriggs Payne Airport) situated in Monrovia that is 10 minutes flight from RIA that can be used as alternative airport.

“And you tell me what is it we have a serious decision to make to spend half a million dollars to fix the runway of the James Spriggs Payne Airport to make available and alternative airport that will spare the lives of thousands of people or to build a presidential playground with taxpayers money”, he mentioned, when he spoke on Saturday in at the Crown hotel in Paynesville.

According to Chairman Goodridge, the RIA situation is just one of the administrative missteps of the Weah administration and the poor decision affecting all Liberians and the unborn generation of what he termed as God giving lives to peace, prosperity, security and safety in the country.

Earlier this year on April 27, Brussels Airlines aborted landing in Liberia due to a power outage in the control tower and runway and had to turn back to Freetown.

Brussels Airline Flight SN241 operates a route between Brussels, Freetown and Monrovia in West Africa before returning to Brussels.

Most West African nationals and business people, and non-governmental organizations who frequently travel to the subregion, especially Liberia, rely on Brussels Airlines and may now need to disembark in neighboring countries and make alternate arrangements to get to destinations in Liberia.

An assessment of operations at the airport disclosed that a massive infusion of multi-million dollar investments in human and technical augmentation will be required in the short term to align the Roberts International Airport (RIA) with global standard and best practices.

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