The Liberia Airport Authority (LAA) has broken ground for the construction of a new passenger terminal building and the rehabilitation of runways at the Roberts International Airport (RIA) in Unification City, Lower Margibi County.

The project received a $50m loan from the China Exim Bank, while China Harbor Engineering Company and Sino Hydro are serving as partners.

The new terminal building will cover an area of more than 5,000m², and is designed to accommodate around 320,000 passengers annually.

Liberia President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said: “Improving the airport will be a milestone in Liberia’s social and economic development.

“The idea to modernise the airport will further enhance a greater aspiration of the country and promote economic growth and development.” 

"The idea to modernise the airport will further enhance a greater aspiration of the country and promote economic growth and development."

The RIA was built during the Second World War by the US Government to serve as a base for its military operations.

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It was administered by Pan American / World Airways (Pan-Am) until 1985, before the airport's operations were taken over by the Government of Liberia.

Chinese Ambassador Zhang Yue said that the runway renovation is being funded by Saudi Fund and the Arab Bank, and supported by the US Government.

Both projects will be implemented by China Harbor and Sino Hydro.

Image: Liberia President Sirleaf greets LAA Board Chair Gbehzonguy Findley on arrival for ground-breaking ceremony. Photo: courtesy of James M Jarresen.