Brussels Airlines has overturned its decision to suspend all flights to Liberia after Roberts International Airport Authority (RIA) informed it had met the technical and operational requirements under international standards for safe aircraft landing. The airline previously announced that flights will be cancelled owing to these concerns.
The resumption of Brussels Airlines averts a short-term national economic loss, assisting the RIA, which is battling financially to stay viable. This will provide respite to the airport and travellers while also averting significant revenue loss. RIA is primarily reliant on revenue from airline service fees.
“On September 16, Brussels Airlines received the official confirmation from the local authorities that the required technical and operational prerequisites to operate are fulfilled,” Brussels Airlines said in a release. “The Belgian airline will therefore resume its operations between Brussels and Monrovia as of this moment, with the next scheduled flight on September 18.”
When a commercial aircraft, such as Brussels Airlines, which is the largest airline flying to Liberia, lands at RIA, it must pay costs for landing, parking, and other services, as well as fuel. There are 16 airports in Liberia. Furthermore, the airline staff uses hotels and car rentals, resulting in a revenue loss for the country.
Safety issues at Roberts International Airport
Earlier, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) had issued a grace period to perform the repairs, and the airport had issued NOTAMs (Notice to Airmen) informing crews that equipment would be unavailable during this time. Brussels Airlines published a statement on September 16 announcing the suspension of flights.
“It is of the utmost importance that we operate each and every flight in a safe, secure and compliant manner. Therefore, we urge the airport of Monrovia to comply with the regulations implied by ICAO as soon as possible. In the meantime, Brussels Airlines sees itself forced to cancel its flights between Brussels and Monrovia. All passengers impacted by these cancellations will be contacted by Brussels Airlines.”
The airport had also experienced issues with its localizer, a vital navigation system required to aid with the smooth landing of planes. During a landing approach, a localizer provides pilots with both vertical and horizontal guidance.
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