The construction of the nearly designed Roberts International Airport’s or RIA’s passenger terminal is expected to kick-off today as government breaks ground. The construction which officials say will begin immediately after the ground breaking ceremony and include the rehabilitation of Runway 04-22, will take 22 months.
The RIA, which is one of the oldest international airports in the sub-region, was built in the Second World War by the United States Government to serve as a base for its military activities.
After the war and until 1985, the airport was administered by Pan American World Airways (Pan Am) and the airport was a key link in the African network of Pan Am. When Pan Am ceased operations, the Government of Liberia assumed responsibilities for the operations of the airport.
The new terminal project is being finance by a US50 million loan agreement between the governments of Liberia and the Chinese Government through theChina Exim Bank, with the CHINA HARBOUR ENGINEERING COMAPANY, as the contractor.
The project involves the excavation of significant sections of Runway 04-22, and asphalt pavement of these sections, rehabilitation of parts of the taxiways, airside geometric improvements including a new turn-pad at runway end 04, widening of taxiway fillets, grading of the runway strip, storm-water drainage improvements, runway and taxiway marking, rehabilitation of the Aeronautical Ground Lighting (AGL) system, amongst others. The last overlay of the runway was done in 1978.
When completed the new terminal layout will have one and a half floors. The first floor includes check-in hall, inspection area, waiting area, arrival hall, baggage claim, baggage handling rooms, equipment rooms and other offices.
The second floor includes waiting and departure area, commercial area, etc. After check-in, immigration, security screening on the first floor, passengers will arrive to their waiting area on the second floor by escalators, elevators and stairs.
The second floor is also for departure, divided into waiting area and commercial service areas. The waiting hall is arranged in linear so that after security screening, passengers will approach to the waiting area through the commercial area, to increase the potential airport business revenue.
For each boarding gate, nursing room, smoking room, business center, shopping center, and other service or consumption functions should be considered. Inside the terminal, it is designed to make the vision clear with no obstruction, and a transparent space is provided. The whole layout is compact, partition-free, to pursue the maximum efficiency and benefits.