Liberia’s international airport Catches fire

By our Monrovia Correspondent | November 12, 2013


Monrovia:- Liberia’s only international airport, the Roberts International Airport (RIA) in Margibi County late evening gutted fire, a local television station reported.

Liberia television giant, Power TV reported in its 9p.m. news Monday that the airport’s personnel and accounts departments were affected by the fire but no major damage has been reported thus far.

Although airport’s authorities are yet to formally speak on the incident, the report said that the fire, which was squashed immediately by airport’s fire fighters was said to have been caused by an electrical short circuit.

The airport, which is situated about 30 miles outside Monrovia in Margibi County within the American investment, Firestone Liberia, has been in dire need of upgrading to meet the global standard in order to cater to the growing needs of intercontinental aviation.

Facilities that are in dire need of upgrading include the runway, expansion of passenger hubs, and other major rehabs. However, RIA continue to be rocked with controversies with the latest being the alleged mismanagement of thousands of United States dollars by the indicted former Managing Director of the Liberia Airport Authority, Madam Ellen Corkrum and others.

The airport’s main terminal building remains vacant and unenclosed as a result of severe damages it suffered during the country’s 14 years civil war. Presently, the terminal facilities consist of two passenger buildings, one for departures by most commercial carriers and all arrivals, and a second, Terminal B, opened in March 2012 exclusively for departures by Air France and Delta Air Lines.

Other airside buildings are primarily used by the United Nations, with a VIP facility adjacent to the original, unused terminal.

Being the nation’s fullest most important aviation facility, with the only connections to Europe and the United States, the RIA is only relieved a little by the James Springs Payne Airport, which has the nation's only other paved runway and features international connections served by regional airlines.

There has been reported expressed interests from other countries and international firms such as Equatorial Guinea, France, the United States among others to help bring the tight and small RIA to international standards, but these negotiations are yet to be finalized.