Friday, September 3, 2010

Delta Set to Fly Liberia’s Skies; Semi-Direct Service to America Debuts Sunday

Written by Nat Nyuan Bayjay Source: FrontPage Africa


The last time a commercial airplane left the runways of the Roberts International Airport (RIA) in Liberia directly for the United States of America (USA) was in May of 1990, when the guns were raging as the then National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) rebels had already captured a significant portion of the country. The port city of Buchanan in Grand Bassa County which is about 60 miles away from the RIA had just fallen to the rebels.
Two decades and three months later, an American plane is yet to make any direct flight from the war ravaged nation across the Atlantic Ocean.
Delta Airways will begin the process halfway Sunday, September 5, 2010 with the launch of a Monrovia-Accra-Atlanta service in a bid to move toward an end to the two decades dilemma that will provide an opportunity for the over 350,000 Liberians residing in the US and the over 3 million Liberians in the country to directly fly between both countries.
According to Richelieu Archie Williams, Managing Director of the Civil Aviation, the American airlines’ resumption of flight on Sunday, September 5 is a result of frantic efforts on his part to convince a flight to resume direct international services to the country.

He said, “When I told the President that there was a need to have a direct flight here, she said well go ahead. She and I had a meeting in Washington, DC, sponsored by Bob Johnson, the Chairman of Delta who came in and we tried to convince him to resume flight in Liberia. And he said fine and that he would try to come”.
Speaking on the significance of the direct flight, Williams drew the following analogy: “When you look at Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Ghana, it’s London that they go. Ghana, Sierra Leone and all of the other people (in the sub-region) go to Britain. The people from Guinea and other Franco-phone countries mainly go to France. Liberia is the only country where we all run to America”.
“Liberia is the closest country on the West Coast (of Africa) to the United States and I will say that about 80 to 90 per cent of the college graduates basically studied in the United States”, the Civil Aviation Boss stated.
Addressing a news conference Thursday at the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, Williams told journalists: “So, we felt it wise to see what could be done about this.”
In his providing answers to how he got the Airline convinced to start its direct flight to the country, he said: “After they told us that we didn’t have the number of required passengers, we got to work. After that, we told them, saying, ‘Look, we have 5,200 people flying out of Liberia monthly. We got 5,700 people flying into Liberia monthly”.
Delta Airways, Delta had previously intended to begin service to Monrovia in June 2009, but was delayed while Roberts International Airport implemented measures to ensure its compliance with the standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization. Delta has worked closely with the United States and Liberian governments while the airport facilities in Monrovia were properly equipped and prepared for the new service.
On the issue of security which prevented the Airline’s previously scheduled flight last year, the Civil Aviation man, in a recent interview with FPA said: “So, TSA has been coming for once a month for about a year. And they have conducted physical trainings on the ground for everybody that is basically involved and they have given us a list of things that we augmented. We built the security. We built the fences up and put the security barb-wire on them. We looked at the control tower. Then TSA the other day which is unofficial yet after one year says. ‘Yes, I can you are in compliance with it’. So, they will be coming as of September the 4th. There is no such thing as a 100 percent (safety) on any airport. J. F. Kennedy had its own faults and other airports but you have to supervise and keep vigilance on these things to maintain a minimum standard for these things for ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization). For now, yes Delta will be come and yes we’ve met the minimum standard of requirement”.
Delta Air Lines serves more than 160 million customers each year. With its unsurpassed global network, Delta and the Delta Connection carriers offer service to 367 destinations in 66 countries on six continents. Delta employs more than 70,000 employees worldwide and operates a mainline fleet of nearly 800 aircraft.
The resumption of Sunday’s direct flight is being highly anticipated which will mark the end of the 20 years and almost four months direct US flight-drought.


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Everyone is a genius

Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. – A Einstein

Drawing the line in Liberia

Crimes sponsored, committed, or masterminded by handful of individuals cannot be blamed upon an entire nationality. In this case, Liberians! The need for post-war justice is a step toward lasting peace, stability and prosperity for Liberia. Liberia needs a war crimes tribunal or some credible legal forum that is capable of dealing with atrocities perpetrated against defenseless men, women and children during the country's brutal war. Without justice, peace shall remain elusive and investment in Liberia will not produce the intended results. - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Men with unhealthy characters should not champion any noble cause

They pretend to advocate the cause of the people when their deeds in the dark mirror nothing else but EVIL!!
When evil and corrupt men try to champion a cause that is so noble … such cause, how noble it may be, becomes meaningless in the eyes of the people - Bernard Gbayee Goah.

If Liberia must move forward ...

If Liberia must move forward in order to claim its place as a civilized nation amongst world community of nations, come 2017 elections, Liberians must critically review the events of the past with honesty and objectivity. They must make a new commitment to seek lasting solutions. The track records of those who are presenting themselves as candidates for the position of "President of the Republic of Liberia" must be well examined. Liberians must be fair to themselves because results from the 2011 elections will determine the future of Liberia’s unborn generations to come - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's greatest problem!

While it is true that an individual may be held responsible for corruption and mismanagement of funds in government, the lack of proper system to work with may as well impede the process of ethical, managerial, and financial accountability - Bernard Gbayee Goah

What do I think should be done?

The situation in Liberia is Compound Complex and cannot be fixed unless the entire system of government is reinvented.
Liberia needs a workable but uncompromising system that will make the country an asylum free from abuse, and other forms of corruption.
Any attempt to institute the system mentioned above in the absence of rule of law is meaningless, and more detrimental to Liberia as a whole - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's Natural Resources
Besides land water and few other resources, most of Liberia’s dependable natural resources are not infinite, they are finite and therefore can be depleted.
Liberia’s gold, diamond, and other natural resources will not always be an available source of revenue generation for its people and its government. The need to invent a system in government that focuses on an alternative income generation method cannot be over emphasized at this point - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia needs a proper system
If Liberians refuse to erect a proper system in place that promotes the minimization of corruption and mismanagement of public funds by government institutions, and individuals, there will come a time when the value of the entire country will be seen as a large valueless land suited on the west coast of Africa with some polluted bodies of waters and nothing else. To have no system in place in any country is to have no respect for rule of law. To have no respect for rule of law is to believe in lawlessness. And where there is lawlessness, there is always corruption - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Solving problems in the absence of war talks

As political instability continues to increase in Africa, it has become abundantly clear that military intervention as a primary remedy to peace is not a durable solution. Such intervention only increases insecurity and massive economic hardship. An existing example which could be a valuable lesson for Liberia is Great Britain, and the US war on terror for the purpose of global security. The use of arms whether in peace keeping, occupation, or invasion as a primary means of solving problem has yield only little results. Military intervention by any country as the only solution to problem solving will result into massive military spending, economic hardship, more fear, and animosity as well as increase insecurity. The alternative is learning how to solve problems in the absence of war talks. The objective of such alternative must be to provide real sustainable human security which cannot be achieved through military arm intervention, or aggression. In order to achieve results that will make the peaceful coexistence of all mankind possible, there must be a common ground for the stories of all sides to be heard. I believe there are always three sides to every story: Their side of the story, Our side of the story, and The truthBernard Gbayee Goah


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