The site of the new RIA terminal, under construction

Construction work on the new terminal and upgrading of the runway at the Roberts International Airport (RIA) is gradually taking shape as contractors working around the clock to give the airline an international outlook.

The new terminal is expected to ease the pressure on the existing terminals and improve infrastructure on-ground that is in line with the growing international travel demand, and position the country as an attractive aviation hub in the sub-region.

Once completed and handed over to the government, the terminal will be capable of processing hundreds of passengers given that the airport officials will be able to monitor the level of the work done at the airport terminal.

The RIA runway project is funded through loans and additional financing from the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa and the Liberian government while Sinohydro Corporation Limited, a Chinese firm, is implementing the project.

The total cost of the RIA runway project is US$30 million.

According to Windell Reeves, airport engineer, the construction work is currently on-going on the ultra-modern international terminal. The terminal is designed to accommodate thousands passengers and will have two boarding bridges.

Mr. Reeves, who spoke to a team of journalists on Friday, July 20, at the RIA, said the ongoing construction and upgrading of the runway is to ensure that the airport meets global standard.

He added that the authority, being also mindful of the plight of the physically challenged and aged persons will provide lift and escalators at the departure hall.

“Improving the airport will be a milestone in Liberia’s social and economic development,” he said, adding that modernizing the airport will further promote economic growth and development for all Liberians.

After the completion, “we will also begin with the installation taxiway lights.”

For his part, managing director of the Liberia Airport Authority (LAA), Wil Bako Freeman, said upon completion, the airport will help to ease passengers’ facilitation as well as increase passengers’ volume.

He said, “The reason we are trying to undertake these projects at the airport is to ensure that under my administration, RIA becomes one of the best and most modernized airports. Many of us travel every day and see other airports in different countries, we get quite embarrassed, especially when we think of our own back home—the RIA that needs to be improved and standardized.”

“The best way to explain something is to show what is happening and this why we invited you all to come and actually see what we have done.

“We are working very actively on the runway and the terminal project,” Freeman said.

View of the RIA runway

According to him, people always talked about the airport being the first face of the country and so “we looking at improving that significantly, so that’s what we’re quite working on.”

“Everybody recognized that this is something that needed to be done, though it is overdue, but I can tell you guys that we will soon be there, adding that, “As you can see, all of these things that people talked about — the airport city and revitalization of the areas — so that is what we are trying to do; new terminal, new office building, new runway.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. Good idea and a good vision for the country and its people as well as its visitors and foreign friends. A good project in the right direction.
    However, let us not forget to put in place a good and durable plan for the longevity of the RIA. As these Chinese continued to receive construction contracts from the government, it is imperative that our leaders make sure to have good and durable results from these contracts. Making sure the materials and expertise placed on this project must be up to international acceptable standards.
    Many a time people complain of bad construction works from these Chinese companies, such as CHICO. Building roads that do not last longer. The Liberian people are the victims of such bad jobs
    Another aspect of this is, the attitude on the part of our leaders to not put in the rightful funds in undertaking these projects. Budget is made for these projects and funds are provided, but on the contrary, large portion of these funds are stolen and the projects become useless and unachievable.
    We need to be very farsighted and not shortsighted. We need to think about what we can do for our country and be honest in all we do. God bless Liberia!

  2. True, but it is a two way Street. If we want the Chinese to do good job, our officials must not drain their coffers by demanding told much kickback from them. Experiences have shown how many projects have been badly done, because our people will take too much from the contractors. Have you seen the Gaye Town Road? That is a very good example. An insider said the reason why the road did not go too far, and is also breakinform apart, is because they took so much from the Chinese contractor. In fact the Chinese man who did the work almost cry. Another example is the SKD Boulevard, when it was first done. It did not stay one year and got damaged. When asked by journalists, the Chinese contractor said, “Small money, bad road, big money good road.” Until this ugly business as usual can stop Liberia will always remain down while others are moving ahead.

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