By Legislative Correspondent
Capitol Hill, Monrovia: Startling revelation by the Liberia Airport Authority Managing Director designate Darlington Karnley reveals that the only international airport in Liberia (Roberts International Airport (RIA) uses Ambulance light for the runway.
Mr. Karnley made the revelation Monday, August 22, 2022, during his confirmation hearing at the Liberian Senate.
The LAA boss Designate disclosed that the Robert International Airport is in a deteriorating state and there is a need to pay key attention to the airport before the worse happened.
Darlington said besides electricity problem, the equipment that is used to switch the lights on the runway is not working anymore instead, the lights in the runway are being switched on manually using an ambulance lights.
He also disclosed that the aviation industry is exposed to the pandemic especially in the abose of medical staff on planes to attend to curable sicknesses. “Do we have any facility on the plane where we can cater to people when they are sick? these are some of the services our airport need right now to address current realities”.
He noted that the first contact which is the towel is losing what he called HF and VHF which basically deal with man to man and man to air. HF and VHF are radio communication used by the airport, HF can be used in an area where VHF is not available due to limited signal courage.
The LAA MD designate said the Ambulance at the airport is not working anymore noting that the ambulance’s light is only switch on to provide lighting for planes that land in the night.
“You have an ambulance that is just parking at the airport and can not move, everytime the plane lands, they only put it on to Flash light, if there be any plane crash at that airport, God for bit, we do not have the materials to safe our passengers” Darlington Karnley said. Every airport has a first contact which is the towel, to be frank with you our towel is losing HF and VHF, we don’t have the facility, our IBB system which is responsible to switch lights on in and around the runway is down, they are now putting it on manually, so just in case the man who suppose to switch it on rushed to cotton tree to get something and within that time we have a plane to land, there will be a serious problem, we are considered not a safe place”.
The confirmation hearing at the Liberia senate was conducted by the Senate Committee on Transport headed by Gbarpolu County Senator and chairman of the opposition Alternative National Congress (ANC) Daniel F. Naathen and Montserrado County Senator and member of the opposition Liberty Party, Abraham Darius Dillon as chairman and Co- chair respectively including members of the committee.
Since the nomination of the LAA boss designate, Karnley by Pres. George Weah, there has been controversies surrounding his academic credentials of which some have said he is not qualify for the post while others have said he is right positioned to take on the job.
The act that created the Liberia Airport Authority says the manager shall hold Bachelor degree or above Aviation management, airport operation, engineer among others. The functional propose shall be to have a managerial and operational control of the government airport both internationally and domestically in the Republic of Liberia, to maintain, develop and operate as a service provider to manage the airport.
Responding to his credentials, Karnley said he does not have any degree or even a bachelor’s degree in aviation rather, he has a certificate in the field with years of experience. “I partially attended Cuttington University but later left for the United States, I don’t have a degree”, He noted.
Karnley statement that he does not have a degree goes contrary to a post on the Executive mansion website in which he is being described as an aviation expert with a bachelors in Aviation and has worked as a lead engineer at Boeing, a leading airline company in the United States. Karnley could not directly respond to information placed on the Executive Mansion’s website about this credentials, noting that he does not work for the Executive mansion.
After heated debate, The Senate Committee on Transport resolved to investigate the credentials placed on the Executive Mansion website following President’s nomination and submit recommendations to plenary and duely inform the LAA boss designate on body’s decision.