The Managing Director of the Liberia Airport Authority (LAA), Wil Bako Freeman, has announced that the US $50m terminal project at the Roberts International Airport will be ready for use by the end 2018.
Construction of the new terminal began in 2017 under the terms of a loan agreement the Liberian Government under former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf signed with the People’s Republic of China. The loan will be paid with interest within 25 years.
First up to date modern terminal
According to Mr. Freeman, the new terminal will be the first up to date modern terminal ever at the RIA since the construction of that airport in the 1940s during the Second World War.
He added that the terminal has been erected and contractors are working daily to ensure it is ready as promised.The two boarding bridges from the building to the turn pad have been connected as engineering while pavement works is also ongoing around the terminal. At the same time, construction work is taking place on a water treatment plant and a standby power house.
Congested boarding rooms
Areas currently used for passengers are medium sized buildings which also host authorities of the airport. The boarding rooms are so congested that each can barely host 100 passengers.
Mr Freeman said that most of the buildings, including those used as terminals, will be demolished to create space for entry to the new terminal. He added that they are also contemplating on improving the human resource capacity of the airport to meet conventional acceptance in dealing with passengers at arrival and departure.
Moreover, the RIA Managing Director also spoke of an US $11m concession agreement between RIA and GLS-NAS to build a cargo terminal and operate it at the airport. This, he said, will take a year to complete and will put Liberia in competition with other countries that are attracting huge flow of passengers and other businesses in the region.
A US $30mn loan from the Saudi Group and Arab Bank for Africa has also helped to address the runway and it now has the best led light which, the MD said, is the first he knows in Africa.