The Global Logistics Services (GLS) and National Aviation Services (NAS) joint venture company GLS – NAS broke ground for a new 2,700 square meter cargo terminal at Roberts International Airport (RIA) in Monrovia, Liberia. The Roberts Air Cargo Center (RACC), is aimed at improving RIA’s air cargo operations to meet international standards and support export supply capacity in Liberia.
The size of the facility currently fulfills a 14 year forecasted baseline demand and can be further expanded up to 3,553 square meter. The current construction is expected to be completed by April 2020.
Peter Malcolm King, Chairman of GLS NAS said, “We are excited to kick off the construction of our new, modern cargo terminal at the Roberts International Airport. The Roberts Air Cargo Center will be the first of its kind in Liberia providing the much needed infrastructure to enhance air cargo supply chain operations, improve trade barriers and boost Liberia’s potential as a hub in the Mano River sub region.”
Part of a 25-year air cargo operations concession awarded to GLS by the Government of Liberia, GLS NAS is tasked with the design, finance, build, maintenance, operation and transfer (DFBMOT) of this new, modern cargo facility at RIA.
Axel Coulibaly, General Manager of GLS NAS highlighted, “GLS NAS has been operating at RIA for over a year, during which our operational improvements have helped grow the airport’s cargo handling capacity by almost 60 percent. With the new warehouse we will not only build capacity but also offer diverse solutions for a variety of industries dealing with perishables, fresh produce, livestock, pharmaceuticals and temperature sensitive cargo. We can also handle high value shipments that require special security. All of which will serve to attract more cargo airlines at the airport while focusing on safety and security.”
The state-of-the-art warehouse will be one of its kind with extended racking for storage, temperature controlled cold storage, walk in freezers, dangerous goods storage, a vault, mail area and five loading docks that can be extended up to eight. The facility will also house a dedicated area for customs inspections and other government agencies. A separate freighter stand will also be developed by the Liberia Airport Authority to accommodate freighter parking for larger aircrafts such as the Boeing 777F.
An off the grid facility, RACC will be self-sufficient in terms of power, water and sewage disposal. It also includes sustainable design features based on the principles of “Net Zero Emissions” and “Green Building” design.
GLS NAS currently operates out of the existing warehouse at RIA, handling nine airlines and over 2200 metric tons of cargo annually. Its customer base includes Arik Air, Kenya Airways, Air Cote d’Ivoire, Brussels Airline, Royal Air Maroc, ASKY, Air Peace and ground handling for the DHL cargo aircrafts.
Present in more than 35 airports across the Middle East, Asia and Africa, NAS provides ground handling services to seven of the world’s top ten airlines, has an average on time performance (OTP) of 98 percent across its operations, is ISAGO, ISO, OHSAS and RA3 certified and has demonstrated expertise in supporting local hub carriers in these countries. NAS also manages 35 airport lounges and offers an expanded portfolio of aviation services that include innovative technology solutions.