Liberia has broke grounds for the construction of a new cargo terminal at the Roberts International Airport (RIA) estimated to cost US $11m. Global Logistics Services Inc. (GLS) and the National Aviation Services (NAS) joint venture company performed the ground breaking ceremony.
GLS-NAS General Manager, Axel Coulibaly said that the cargo is aimed at improving the RIA’s air cargo operations to meet international standards and support export supply capacity in Liberia.
“The size of the facility currently fulfills a 14 year forecasted baseline demand and can be further expanded up to 3,553 square meters,” said Coulibaly.
Roberts Air Cargo Center (RACC)
Construction of the Roberts Air Cargo Center (RACC) is projected to be completed by April 2020. According to the Genarl Manager, the facility will be a state of the art warehouse that will feature extended racking for storage, temperature controlled cold storage, walk-in freezers, dangerous goods storage, a vault, mail area and five loading docks that can be extended up to eight.
Additionally, the facility will house a dedicated area for customs inspections and other government agencies. A separate freighter stand will also be developed by the Liberia Airport Authority to accommodate freighter parking for larger aircrafts such as the Boeing 777F.
Mr Coulibaly further described the facility as an off the grid facility which will be self-sufficient in terms of power, water and sewage disposal. Its sustainable design features are based on the principles of ‘NetZero Emissions’ and ‘Green Building’ design.”
“With the new warehouse, we will not only build capacity but also offer diverse solutions for a variety of industries dealing with perishables, fresh produce, livestock, pharmaceutical and temperature sensitive cargo. We can also handle high value shipments that require special security, all of which will serve to attract more cargo airlines to the airport, while focusing on safety and security,” said Mr. Coulibaly.
Part of the 25-year air cargo operations concession awarded to GLS-NAS by the government of Liberia, GLS-NAS is tasked with design, finance, build, maintenance, operation and transfer (DFBMOT) of the new modern facility.
Peter Malcolm King, Chairman of GLS-NAS, commented “We are excited to kick off the construction of our new, modern cargo terminal at the RIA. The Roberts Air Cargo Center will be the first of its kind in Liberia, providing the much needed infrastructure to enhance air cargo supply chain operations, improve trade barriers and boost Liberia’s potential as a hub in the Mano River Sub-region.”
The GLS-NAS has been operating at the RIA for over a year, during which the company’s operational improvements helped grow the airport’s cargo handling capacity by almost 60%. It currently operates out of the existing warehouse at RIA, handling nine airlines and over 2200 metric tons of cargo annually
NAS on the other hand provides ground handling services to seven of the world’s ten leading airlines and has an average on time performance of 98% percent across its operations. It is also ISAGO, ISO, OHSAS and RA3 certified and has demonstrated expertise in supporting local hub carriers various countries.