Sierra Leone’s Minister of Transport and Aviation Leonard Balogun Koroma has today, Friday 25th October, 2013, assumed the position of Chairman of the Roberts Flight Information Region (R. F. I. R. ) Council of Ministers at it’s annual Ministerial Council meeting held in Monrovia , Liberia from 22nd to 27th October, 2013. Earlier, on arrival at Springs Payne Airport in Monrovia, Mr. Leonard Balogun Koroma and his Guinean counterpart Hon. El Hadji Tidiane Traore were received by the Liberian Minister of transport , Honourable Tonorlah Varpilah and Senior Aviation sector officials of the country . On January 17, 1975, in Conakry, Guinea, the Governments of the Republics of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone under the Chicago Convention of which the ( 3) States are signatories concluded on January 17, 1975 a supplementary agreement to the Convention for the establishment of the Roberts Flight Information Region to provide air navigation services and ensure air traffic safety and regularity over their respective territories . The accord was revised on August 19, 1978 in Freetown .
Any contracting State to the Chicago Convention has an obligation in its national legislation to comply with the application of the 18 Annexes governing the operation of ICAO and therefore committed to ensure safe and direct flow of air traffic. The activities of the Roberts FIR , which are mainly devoted to Air Navigation, Aviation Publication, Search and Rescue, and Aviation Meteorology , is sufficient evidence of the huge responsibility of the FIR in respect of them flow of air traffic over our territories. In 2012, Roberts FIR controlled 17, 187 ( Seventeen Thousand One Hundred and Eighty Seven ) aircraft movements in the airspace of Guinea , Sierra Leone and Liberia for a total distance flown of 8, 426, 000 ( Eight Million, Four Hundred and Twenty Six Thousand ) kilometres.
The Secretariat and Control Center of Roberts FIR are based in Monrovia, Liberia. High on this year’s conference agenda will be discussions surrounding the establishment of a regional airline, Air Mano which will ensure guaranteed connecting flights between the ( 3 ) member states, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia . The absence of an Airline in the Mano River Union is posing serious difficulties to inhabitants of the region as the situation impedes travel and economic activities . Reinforcing the need for such flights, Sierra Leone’s Minister of Transport and Aviation, Leonard Balogun Koroma said the absence of regular flights among Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia has created a vacuum that needs to be filled .
The Minsters of Transport of the Republics of Guinea and Sierra Leone, accompanied by the Liberian Transport Minister also paid courtesy calls on the Vice President of the Republic of Liberia , Hon. Joseph Nyumah Boakai, and the Speaker of the National Legislature of Liberia, Hon. J. Alex Tyler Sr. In another engagement, Minister Leonard Balogun Koroma who also doubles as National Elections Coordinator for the ruling All People’s Congress Party held a meeting with Executive members of the Liberia branch of the A. P. C. led by the Chairman Mr. Davies Koroma .In his remarks , Mr. Davies Koroma thanked Minister Balogun Koroma for finding time to hold a meeting with them to discuss their concerns and matters of mutual interest relating to the All Peoples Congress Party .
Responding, Minister of Transport and Aviation, Mr. Leonard Balogun Koroma extended greetings to the A. P. C. Liberia Branch from the Chairman and Leader of the All Peoples Congress Party and President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma . He also extended greetings from the National Secretary General of the A. P. C. , Alhaji Ambassador Osman Foday Yansaneh. Mr. Leonard Balogun Koroma thanked members of the branch for Organising themselves to espouse the ideals of the party in Liberia and for keeping their members abreast of the numerous development projects being undertaken under the dynamic and progressive leadership of President Ernest Bai Koroma . He particularly thanked them for their role and support to the party during the 2012 elections .
The Minister also thanked members of the branch for exercising their constitutional rights as registered Sierra Leonean voters to vote in the last 2012 Presidential , Parliamentary and Local Council elections and emphasized that as registered voters they have the right to vote in all future elections in Sierra Leone : ” nobody can take that right away from you ” Minister Logus Koroma concluded . The meeting with the A. P. C. Liberia branch was also attended by the Chairman, Sierra Leone Civil Aviation Authority, Captain Victor Spaine . The meeting will be climaxed with an official dinner to be hosted by the Hon. Vice President of Liberia at the Grand Royal Hotel on Friday evening.
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