A six-man delegation of the International Civil Aviation Organization has begun the audit of the safety measures, types of equipment and regulations put in place for air traffic safety by the Liberia Civil Aviation Authority in the country.
The delegation, which is headed by the ICAO Standard and Procedure Officer for Personnel Licensing, Louis Opoku, will be in the country for six days purposely to audit the state safety oversight system in Liberia.
The Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP) is a program through which the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) monitors Member States' compliance with their safety oversight obligations. The results of USOAP activities allow ICAO to evaluate a State's ability to provide safety oversight by determining whether the State has effectively and consistently implemented the eight critical elements (CEs) of a safety oversight system, which enable the State to ensure the implementation of ICAO's safety-related Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs), as well as associated procedures and guidance material.
Primary Aviation Legislation and Civil Aviation Regulations, Civil Aviation Organization, Personnel Licensing and Training, Aircraft Operations, Airworthiness of Aircraft, Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation, Air Navigation Services, and Aerodromes and Ground Aids are among the eight critical elements (CE) that the USOAP audits for effective implementation.
At the official opening ceremony held in the conference room of the Liberia Civil Aviation Authority on April 20, 2022, the Director-General of the Liberia Civil Aviation Authority, Moses Y. Kollie, assured ICAO of the LCAA's unwavering cooperation throughout the audit period and expressed confidence in the LCAA's ability to perform well in order to restore the country's standing in the global aviation industry.
According to Director Kollie, the LCAA is reminded that in accordance with ICAO Standards, there is a benchmark of a minimum score of 60% at the level of Effective Implementation (EI) for all member States and that the first time the country was audited was in 2006, but unfortunately, the Country's Effective Implementation (EI) since 2006 has been less than 20%.
Director Kollie, on the other hand, stated that Liberia, as an ICAO member state, has been working diligently to prepare for this 2022 audit through its Civil Aviation Authority in order to earn a high score in its EI at the end of the 2022 ICAO USOAP audit.
The LCAA Director-General took advantage of the opportunity to inform ICAO that, as part of Dr. George Manneh Weah, President of the Republic of Liberia's usual administrative and political will, he recently authorized, with immediate effect, both the Ministers of State for Presidential Affairs and Finance and Development Planning of the Republic of Liberia; to ensure that the Roberts International Airport (RIA) is upgraded to international standards by making funds available for this purpose.
According to Louis Opoku, the head of the audit delegation, his team will work independently to ensure that the ICAO standards are followed during the twelve-day audit.
He disclosed that auditing the legislation and regulations, aircraft operations, aerodromes and ground kids, accident and incident investigations among others. Opoku said since Liberia does not have branches in other parts of the country the team will restrict its activities to visitation to sites in Monrovia and its environs.
Opoku also told the LCAA that the audit's findings will be made available to Liberia and that, where necessary, corrective action would be recommended, as well as praise for the sector's efforts in maintaining safety and oversight.