The Inquirer is a leading independent daily newspaper published in Liberia, based in Monrovia. It is privately owned with a "good reputation".

RIA Welcomes Weah In Darkness

President George Weah who returned home from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Monday, March 28, was received by an array of government officials in “darkness” at the Robert International Airport (RIA).
Youth and Sports Minister Zoegar Wilson who could not deny or confirm the report said the electricity at RIA went off 30 minutes prior to the President’s arrival apparently due to power failure.
He said he and other cabinet ministers including Finance and Development Planning Minister, Samuel Tweah were sitting in the Very-Important-Persons (VIP) lounge when the power went off.
Claiming not to be the official spokesperson for the management of the RIA, Wilson blamed it on Air France which brought the President to Liberia thereby forcing him to deplane in the darkness.
He described the situation as the talking point for cabinet ministers who were awaiting the President’s arrival in the dark VIP lounge thereby inciting security implications for the country’s only international airport.
Wilson opined that the Liberia Civil Aviation Authority (LCAA) Managing Director, Moses Kollie could speak to the prevailing situation at the RIA in the future.
According to the report, the President who arrived at his house in Rehab residence almost midnight disembarked at RIA at about 10:P.M.
However, the mandate of the LCAA is to regulate and promote civil aviation in Liberia; to foster its safe and orderly development and for other purposes incidental thereof.
Last month, a Royal Air Maroc flight which was scheduled to land at the RIA at 4 A.M. on Sunday, February 20, was again forced to abort the landing due to the airport’s dark runway.
It was gathered that it attempted several times using the navigation system but that was not successful because just as the plane was landing, the runway lights went off thereby forcing the plane to turn back, an eyewitness said.
The lights reportedly came on and the pilots were informed that they could try to land again but they refused and those onboard that flight were dropped in Sierra Leone where many were forced to come to Monrovia by road.
There have been several complaints coming from airlines about the safety of the runway and other issues relating to the quality of jet fuel being supplied at the RIA.
As a result, airlines are not happy with the quality of fuel being supplied by CONEX which has compelled Brussels to bring back their check-in time and Air France to fly to Abidjan for refueling before taking off for their destinations.
This is not the first time airlines have hinted on the compromising of safety measures at the Roberts International Airport, especially the illumination of the runway to aid safe landing.
The airport management has continuously remained tightlipped on the issue which scares present and potential airlines from coming to Liberia.
The basic runway lightening system consists of two straight parallel lines of runway edge lights defining the lateral limits of the runway; these lights are aviation white, although aviation yellow may be substituted for a distance of 2,000 feet from the far end of the runway to indicate a caution zone.

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