Thursday, June 20, 2013 09:22
Delta Airlines Upgrades Liberia's Airspace
Delta Air Lines on Tuesday, June 19, 2012 operated a successful test flight into Monrovia to try the GPS Approach technology it is developing to improve the safety and reliability of aircraft operations at Roberts International Airport.
Delta's GPS Approach system has been developed specifically for Liberia using U.S. Federal Aviation Administration standards.
The GPS approach system works by shifting navigational reliance from ground based instruments to satellite based equipment. Once it is introduced any airline will be able to use the new technology, opening up Liberian airspace to more international carriers.
The technology was previously tested in a flight simulator and the completion of today's test flight by Delta marks one of many steps to be taken before the system is introduced.
“Operating a successful test flight using the new GPS Approach is an exciting step towards improving Liberian airspace and is one of a number of significant investments Delta is making in the country,” said Bobby Bryan, Delta's commercial manager for West and East Africa.
“We are proud to be working with the Liberian Civil Aviation Authority to upgrade Liberian air traffic control by introducing new technology to help build trade and commerce between Liberia and the rest of the world.”
“This is another step in our partnership with the private sector in general and Delta Air Lines in particular, to improve aviation safety and security in Liberia,” said Mr. Gyude Moore, Head - Project Delivery Unit, Office of the President.
“Our goal is to make Roberts International Airport one of the safest on the continent and today's success brings us closer to goal.”
Delta is the only airline to offer direct service between Liberia and the United States and operates three weekly services to the U.S. via Accra.
The airline, in partnership with Air France-KLM, opened a dedicated terminal at Roberts International Airport in March this year. Terminal B, which is exclusive to Delta and Air France-KLM, provides upgraded facilities for passengers departing from Monrovia and was jointly funded by the two airlines with the support of the Liberian Authorities.
Delta Air Lines serves more than 160 million customers each year. During the past year, Delta was named domestic “Airline of the Year” by the readers of Travel Weekly magazine, was named the Top Tech-Friendly U.S. Airline” by PC World magazine for its innovation in technology and won the Business Travel News Annual Airline Survey.
With an industry-leading global network, Delta and the Delta Connection carriers offer service to nearly 350 destinations in 65 countries on six continents.
Headquartered in Atlanta, Delta employs 8O,000 employees worldwide and operates a mainline fleet of more than 700 aircraft. A founding member of the SkyTea global alliance, Delta participates in the industry's leading trans-Atlantic joint venture with Air France KLM and Alitalia.
Including its worldwide alliance partners, Delta offers customers more than 13,000 daily flights, with hubs in Amsterdam, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, Memphis, Minneapolis St. Paul, New York-LaGuardia, New York-JFK, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Salt Lake City and Tokyo-Narita.
The airline's service includes the SkyM lies frequent flier program, a world-class airline loyalty program; the award-winning Business Elite service; and more than 50 Delta Sky Clubs in airports worldwide. Delta is investi1g more than $3 billion through 2013 in airport facilities and global products, services and technology to enhance the customer experience in the air and on the ground.
Delta Air Lines utilized 767ER aircraft from Accra to Monrovia with only technicians on board led by a Chief Technical Pilot and return for the purpose of Flight Validation on the RNAV (GPS) procedures into Monrovia.
This data will be installed into of a flight simulator in Atlanta and flown to complete the design phase. It will later be sent to the FAA for review and clearance following which LCAA will give final approval to be published in the AlP for use in Liberia's airspace by all airlines arriving and departing RIA in keeping with Liberia's obligations and responsibilities to the International Civil Aviation Organization (IACO).
Receiving such major relieving news from a major American carrier for a cost-intensive initiative at no cost to the Government of Liberia, the Director General of the Liberia Civil Aviation Authority; Hon. Richelieu A. Williams commended Delta Air Lines for embarking on such invaluable and monumental technological project. He noted that when completed, pilots will effectively land and take-off with precision.
Mr. Williams described Delta initiative as a meaningful and monumental commitment to the development of hi-tech in civil aviation. Director Williams said the pages of history book will remember Delta's name, as a true, formidable, significant and genuine partner in Liberia.
In a jubilant mood, Mr. Williams added that it was a new day for Liberia and the aviation sector and expressed the hope that others will be inspired by the Delta's contribution to boost the civil aviation in the country.
The Director General however commended Ms. Boo Brewer of Delta Air Lines Monrovia office for her steadfastness, and resilience occasioned by consistent follow-ups at every level leading to the final realization of the test validation of the GPS approach for the country only international airport.
Graciously, the Liberia CM has already granted authorization and clearance to Delta to proceed with flight testing of Global Positioning System Approaches of the Roberts International Airport. Mr. Williams termed this very important development as the dawn of a new beginning in LCAA-Delta relations aimed at working together in the best of Liberia.