Flights Between The U.S And Liberia Could Begin This Fall


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Flights Between The U.S And Liberia Could Begin This Fall

By Steve Hall

August 31, 2010 – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the Liberia Civil Aviation Authority (LCAA) announced the successful implementation of cooperative efforts to enhance aviation security. Flights between the United States and Liberia could begin as early as fall 2010. 

TSA has worked closely with LCAA to implement the necessary security protocols for sustainable aviation security institutions and practices, and to ensure the safety of passengers traveling between the two countries. In 2009, TSA and LCAA – by signing a Joint Statement of Intent – agreed to work together to develop and enhance aviation security programs as well as share best practices.


“TSA’s efforts to assist Liberia demonstrate our commitment to aiding in the development of aviation systems throughout the world,” said John Halinski, assistant administrator for TSA’s Office of Global Strategies. “Through this partnership, TSA and LCAA have built a sustainable Liberian transportation security system — not only aiding travelers in our respective countries as flights begin this fall, but also demonstrating our shared commitment to the international aviation security community.” 

To support this partnership, TSA deployed an Aviation Security Sustainable International Standards Team (ASSIST), a group of veteran security experts, to collaborate with Liberian aviation security officials. The ASSIST group and their LCAA counterparts assessed aviation security programs such as training and equipment as well as current aviation security laws and regulations. 

The ASSIST program is part of TSA's ongoing efforts to promote the secure movement of people and commerce worldwide. Through ASSIST, TSA has identified a number of international lessons-learned and best practices regarding aviation security. TSA plans to expand this program to additional nations in the future. 

Delta Air Lines announced new service between Atlanta and Monrovia, Liberia, expanding the airline's position as the leading U.S. carrier operating flights to Africa. The new service, which is scheduled to begin September 4, will connect Delta's hub at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and Roberts International Airport in Monrovia with a stop in Accra, Ghana. The flight will be operated on 215-seat Boeing 767-300ER aircraft, equipped with 34 BusinessElite seats and 181 seats in Economy.


Delta has received approval from the Liberian Civil Aviation Authority, and preliminary approval from the U.S. government, to sell seats for the new flight for the planned launch in September. Final U.S. government approvals are expected before the flight begins. 

"As the No. 1 U.S. carrier serving Africa, Delta remains committed to expanding our presence into fast-growing African markets," said Perry Cantarutti, Delta's senior vice president of Europe, Middle East and Africa. "Our new service between our Atlanta hub and Monrovia will provide convenient connections between Liberia and cities across the United States." 

Delta had previously intended to begin service to Monrovia in June 2009, but was delayed while Roberts International Airport implemented measures to ensure its compliance with the standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization. Delta has worked closely with the United States and Liberian governments while the airport facilities in Monrovia were properly equipped and prepared for the new service. 

"The government is enthusiastic about the prospect of Delta providing a direct flight between Monrovia and the United States, which would be the first such service in many years," said Liberia President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. "The government is working earnestly to ensure that all the necessary requirements are met so that the flights will commence as scheduled." 

"I have been pleased to work with Delta and the Office of Global Strategies at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to ensure that security continues to be a priority on all international aviation partnerships. As Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, I support TSA's international aviation security programs. Facilitating commerce without compromising security remains a reasonable approach” said U.S. Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security.


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