Frederick B Norkeh, the Liberian Telecommunications Minister, has concerns sky-high towers that lack security lights could be putting the nation’s airspace at risk.
He said if the situation is left unattended to, planes across Liberia at a lower altitude stand the risk of crashing into such towers that could have devastating and deleterious impacts.
Apart from the risk of losing airplane crew members, he said the affected aircrafts could also crash on people on ground or properties, thus incurring additional collateral damages.
“Ladies and gentlemen, it is also possible that there could be some chain reactions, resulting from the scenario illustrated, where companies that own the flight could sue our government on ground that we neglected to prevent the incident as portrayed,” the minister said.
He added damages to the tune of several millions of dollars would be awarded to victims which must be paid by the Liberian government. Such an enormous amount he said could be spent on improving the nation’s social infrastructure such as schools and providing better hospitals to cater for the sick.
To prevent such litigations, the minister announced the introduction of measures that will help prevent tragedies and other communications tower-associated mishaps.
Henceforth, he said the government has directed that all communication towers reaching for skies must have security lights. These he said would alert planes of the tower thus preventing mishaps in the airspace.
“I therefore mandate the Liberia Telecommunication Authority (LTA) to ensure that security light on all towers meet LCAA’s standards of conspicuous security lights that don’t interfere with the security of planes in flight,” he said.
Furthermore, he added that microwave and other related equipment that are used on communication towers must be orientated in manners that will not induce hazardous processes or jeopardize human or environmental health.
He also stressed that the LTA, Environmental Protection Agency and other stakeholders must work together to draft the standards.
“LTA should ensure the new towers should only be constructed in areas where existing ones are technically proven to be incapable of facilitating co-location,” the minister said.