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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Liberia: Aviation Chief Julius Dennis Seeks Reform to Attract More Airlines

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By Zac Sherman

In an urgent effort to address challenges within the aviation sector, the Liberia Civil Aviation Authority (LCAA) has committed to implementing immediate actions to revitalize the institution.

LCAA Director General Julius D. Dennis expresses confidence that these reform efforts will help Liberia achieve a minimum of 60% Effective Implementation (EI) score, as required by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

The country new aviation chief Wednesday outlined plans that encompass short, medium, and long-term goals for the organization.

In the short term, one of the priorities is to address significant safety concerns outlined in the 2022 ICAO Audit Report on Liberia. To achieve this, the acquisition of an Automatic Weather Observation Station (AWOS) is being considered.

The medium-term objectives focus on meeting the requirements necessary for the reopening of the Liberia Aircraft Registry Authority (LARA). Director General Dennis emphasizes collaboration with the Executive Branch, Ministry of Transport, Liberia Airport Authority (LAA), and all relevant airports to improve operational functionality in the aviation sector.

Efforts will be made to transform Roberts International Airport (RIA) to provide superior customer service and improve the overall airport experience.

The LCAA hopes that with a fully functional airport that meets ICAO standards, it will be able to attract other airlines to fly into RIA.

The organization aims to enhance regulatory stewardship, support capacity building, develop relationships with stakeholders, and promote global improvement in aviation. Director General Dennis urges teamwork and collaboration to achieve the desired goals.

The action plan specifically targets the recent ICOA Universal Safety Oversight Audit Program (USOAP) Continuous Monitoring Approach (CMA) audit, which awarded Liberia a score of 27.84 percent.

The audit assessed eight critical elements, including aviation legislation, civil aviation regulations, and personnel licensing and training. Director General Dennis acknowledges that Liberia has not yet reached the benchmark of 60% EI required by all member states and emphasizes the importance of striving for compliance.

Director General Dennis highlights several challenges faced by the LCAA, including bloated staffing levels, a non-compliant and inadequate office facility, a significant debt burden, and the need for training. One of the priorities is to provide incentives to motivate employees and increase productivity and efficiency.

The LCAA’s commitment to improving the aviation sector in Liberia is seen as a crucial step towards rebranding, revamping, and rehabilitating the industry. With the implementation of the planned actions, the LCAA aims to enhance safety and efficiency in the aviation sector and attract more airlines to RIA.

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