Cassell’s Helicopter Meets International Standards, But Government Of Liberia Says It Stills Reviewing Permit
Monrovia – Documents in the possession of FrontPage Africa have reviewed that the ZT-RJA Bell 430 helicopter belonging to the Political Leader of the People’s Liberation Party (PLP), Dr. Daniel E. Cassell, has met all international standards required to fly and land in and around the African continent.
For sometimes now, PLP and the government, through the Liberia Civil Aviation Authority (LCAA) have been caught in rigmarole, making claims and counter claims over the saga.
The party claims that its Political Leader and Vision Bearer. Dr. Daniel E. Cassell, through his company, Kwenyan and Associates, met all legal requirements and was given a permit by the LCAA for the helicopter to land in the country, but said permit was surreptitiously revoked for unknown reasons barely a day after the it attempted landing in the country.
The party took the matter to the Supreme Court of Liberia, and the government has denied initially issuing a permit for the helicopter to land into the country.
“LCAA notes that at no time did Kwenyan & Associates Group of Company request for landing permit to the LCAA for which, they filed a writ of Prohibition. The Group application for an Air Service License is still being reviewed by the LCAA in keeping with the Liberia Civil Aviation and relevant international Regulations and is pending the fulfillment of all the requirements”, a release issued by the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism (MICAT) stated.
But FPA managed to obtain copies of several documents sent to the Director General of the Liberia Civil Aviation Authority (LCAA), confirming that the aircraft has met all international standards.
In a letter dated October 26, 2021, under the reference: INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT CLEARANCES APPOINTMENT, the National Airways Corporation (PTY) Ltd, in keeping with international aviation laws, informed the LCAA about the landing flight of the ZT-RJA B430 helicopter belonging to Dr. Cassell from South Africa to Liberia.
The letter was addressed to the Director General of the LCAA, Mr. Moses Y. Kollie, under the signature of Jaco de Klerk of the NAC Quality Control Compliance and Helicopter Safety.
“This letter serves to confirm that National Airways Corporation (PTY) Ltd appointed International Flight Clearances (IFC) on the 14th of September 2021 to arrange the overflight and landing clearances for the ferry flight of ZT-RJA from South Africa to Liberia. Thank you and please do not hesitate to contact me should you require any additional information”, the communication stated.
The company offers a range of products and services for fixed-wing aircraft and helicopter markets, including aircraft sales, maintenance, parts, value-added products, aircraft charter, international operations, and pilot training.
It also operates a flight operations and charter division. NAC operates a South African network of offices; its main base is Lanseria Airport, with office hubs at Cape Town International Airport, Durban, Grand Central Airport, Wonderboom Airport and Rand Airport.
NAC also has businesses further afield in Botswana Sir Seretse Khama International Airport, Gaborone and internationally, Awesome Flight Logistics in Perth, Australia and Specialized Aircraft Services in Wichita, USA.
NAC is an authorized dealer and representative for a variety of manufacturers and service providers in the aviation industry, including the Bombardier Aerospace, Dassault Aviation, Embraer, Bell Helicopter, Robinson Helicopter, Diamond Aircraft, Pacific Aerospace, Piper Aircraft, Quest KODIAK, and Nextant 400XT.
Clearance form issued
International Flight Clearances (Pty) Ltd also issued a clearance form for the helicopter belonging to the PLP Political Leader.
International Flight Clearances is an aviation consulting company based in the City of Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa.
It aim is to add value and safety to all flights while reducing the stress factor for both operators and passengers.
The company has immense experience in dealing with all types of flight operations worldwide.
It takes personal pride in the knowledge that it is able to suggest and plan routing that is cost and time effective.
The company also strive to add the personal touch to your flight, by adding efficiency and cost containment to your operations, and by so doing justify our service.
By being intimately acquainted with Africa in all her moods, the company knows the requirements for every country, small things which may trip your flight up and inconvenience your passengers.
The clearance form issued under the signature of Charles Grimsdell, head of Operations of the International Flight Clearances, shows that Dr. Cassell’s ZT-RJA Bell 430 will have an over flight and landing in several African countries including Cameroun, Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Liberia and Congo, among others.
Both the National Airways Corporation (NAC) and the International Flight Clearances requested the Liberian government or any other party having a problem over the flight to contact their respective entities, no evidence has been produced by the government of contacting the respective reputable institutions over the helicopter of Dr. Cassell.
Though the helicopter has flown and landed in almost all of the African countries listed above, it remains unclear why the Government of Liberia (GOL), through the LCAA is preventing the helicopter from landing at the Roberts International Airport in Margibi County or the Sprigg Field in Monrovia.
“You can’t dress more than the Town Chief”
The PLP has consistently claimed that the decision taken by its Political Leader to purchase a helicopter is intended to ensure easy and unhindered access to hear and address the plights and numerous challenges and difficulties confronting Liberians in leeward and hard-to-reach areas.
The party also claimed that medical supplies worth thousands of United States dollars will also be air lifted to various counties in a timely manner when the helicopter arrives in the country.
But scores of loyalists, including government officials continue to question the rationale behind the decision taken by Dr. Cassell to bring an aircraft into the country, ahead of the 2023 general and presidential elections in Liberia.
They believed that the move would boost Dr. Cassell’s political morale and win him favor in the eyes of the electorates of the gullible Liberian society if the government, through the LCAA allows the helicopter to fly from county to county in Liberia.
A source closed to the presidency quoted one senior confidante of President George Manneh Weah as saying “you cannot be living in a town and you want to dress more than the Town Chief”.
If this saying is anything to go by, it implies that the PLP and its Political Leader, Dr. Daniel E. Cassell will have a long way to go in ensuring that the government of Liberia allows the ZT-RJA Bell 430 helicopter to smoothly land and travel across Liberia.
The PLP has formally complained to Liberia’s diplomatic partners, including the United States government, through its Embassy near Monrovia, the European Union (EU) Delegation in the country, among others.
The party believes that the decision taken by the Liberian government to prevent the helicopter from landing in the country violates the constitutional rights of its Political Leader.
Constitutional rights violated
PLP, through its National Youth Assembly made specific reference to Articles 11, 17 and 22 of the 1986 Liberian constitution.
Article 11(a) of the Liberian constitution states that: “all persons are born equally free and independent and have certain natural, inherent and inalienable rights, among which are the right of enjoying and defending life and liberty, of pursuing and maintaining and security of the person and of acquiring, possessing and protecting property, subject to such qualifications as provided for in this Constitution”.
Article 17 (a) notes that “all persons, at all times, in an orderly and peaceable manner, shall have the right to assemble and consult upon the common good to instruct their representatives, to petition the government or other functionaries for the redress of grievances and to associate fully with others or refuse to associate in political parties, trade unions and other organizations.”
Article 22 (a) states that: “Every person shall have the right to own property alone as well as in association with others; provided that only Liberian citizens shall have the right to own real property within the Republic”.
Threats of protest
““The National Youth Assembly of the PLP is greatly concerned by the constant violation of these rights of its Political Leader amongst which is the right to legally acquire property. By this, we are demanding the unconditional landing of the helicopter licensed and own by the Kwenyan Groups of Companies within 72hours or there will be a popular uprising of the Liberian people against this clueless and irresponsible government in order to ensure the right to legally acquire property by any Liberian citizen is protected at all times and not only by the Weah-led government but governments to come” the Youth Assembly threatened.