March 25, 2023

Senators Vote By Majority To Reject Pres. Weah’s Nomination for LAA Position

The confirmation of the candidate for the position of Managing Director of the Liberia Airport Authority has been rejected by the Liberian Senate’s Plenary. Voting on the record on Wednesday, 17 senators chose to oppose candidate Karnley, one did so in support, and five others chose to abstain. Sen. Daniel Flomo Nathaniel of Gbarpolu County’s Senate Standing Committee on Transport’s report served as the catalyst for the majority’s decision to reject the LAA Managing Director-designate.

According to the Senate Committee on Transportation’s report, Mr. Darlington Karnley lacks the expertise, credentials, and experience needed to oversee the Liberia Airport Authority, notably the Roberts International Airport, which has recently come to the public’s attention.

According to the senate committee, the Airport needs a Managing Director that has the academic qualifications and experience to handle the structural management crisis at the RIA and believes Mr. Karnley is not suitable for said position.

The LAA Act stipulates that the Managing Director must possess a Bachelor’s degree or higher in Aviation Management, Airport Operation, or Engineering, among other fields, and that the LAA’s functional purpose is to have managerial and operational control over government airports in the Republic of Liberia, both domestically and internationally, as well as to maintain, develop, and function as a service provider to manage the airport.

Sen. J. Milton Teahjay of Sinoe County submitted a petition for reconsideration after the Senate voted to reject the LAA boss nominee. However, Sen. Teahjay eventually withdrew his request for reconsideration after realizing he might not have the backing of his fellow senators to reverse the majority judgment.

During a recent confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill, Mr. Karnley informed the Senate Committee on Transportation that he does not possess a bachelor’s degree in aviation, but rather a certificate and years of experience. The nominee noted that he partially attended Cuttington University (CU) and later left for the United States (US), and added that he holds no degree in such field but rather a certificate.

The only international airport in Liberia, RIA, is in a poor state, and Karnley stated at his confirmation hearing that the government must pay close attention to the airport before things get worse. In addition to the frequent power outages at the airport, he pointed out that the runway’s lighting system’s equipment is in poor shape and that the runway’s lights are manually turned on, which Bomi County Senator Edwin Melvin Snowe strongly condemn.

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