MINISTRY OF TRANSPORT HOLDS STAKEHOLDERS MEETING WITH CIVIL AVIATION AND AIRPORT AUTHORITY
BY MAHMOUD KAMARA
Freetown International Airport Conference room in Lungi-8th July, 2021.The Ministry of Transport and Aviation has held stakeholders meeting with the Management and Board Members of the Sierra Leone Civil Aviation Authority (SLCAA) and the Airport Authority (SLAA) in a bid to update the Ministry on the status of their action plans and activities for the Certification of the Freetown-Lungi International Airport.
In his opening remarks, the Minister of Transport and Aviation, Honorable Kabineh Kallon thanked all stakeholders present, noting that the Air Transport among the modes of transport sectors in Sierra Leone is one of the major contributors to the country’s economic growth, he added that the aviation industry plays a leading and vital role in the development of the country by facilitating movement of passengers, promoting trade and tourism.
He maintained that his Ministry is committed in ensuring that the certification of the Freetown-Lungi International Airport fulfils its set standards.
He frowned at some Board Members not attending meetings and admonished the two Board Chairmen to ensure that all Board Members must attend meetings regularly to form a quorum.
He appealed to the General Board Members of the Sierra Leone Civil Aviation (SLCAA) and Airport Authority to take the certification process seriously as a project, adding that the Board should be proactive and report to him where there is any issue.
Minister Kallon called on all stakeholders to work as a team in achieving the set standards for the Certification of the Freetown-Lungi International Airport.
In his presentation, the National, Continuous Monitoring Coordinator for the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Arnold Bangura who doubles as the Safety Manager responsible for the safety oversight of the Freetown-Lungi International Airport, explained the Background, Analysis and highlighted some Protocol Questions (PQs), he added that the Airport will be audited in 2022 , noting that Sierra Leone is a signatory to Chicago Convention and as such it is bound by 96 Articles of the said convention of which only 19 of the conventions are to be complied with by law.
‘’The protocol questions are probing, auditor’s questions that they use to ensure all provisions in the Articles of the Chicago Conventions have been complied with” Coordinator Bangura explained.
The Deputy DG Technical for the Sierra Leone Civil Aviation Authority (SLCAA), Maria Wurie Conteh in her presentation gave update on the preparedness for the certification of the Freetown-Lungi International Airport.
She highlighted the activities work plans, strategies and the progress updates in the areas of documentations, procurement of PPEs among others, training of staff, recruitment of consultant, signing an MOU with Summa Construction Company, Freetown International Airport Certification work plan, Navigation aids update and rescue search among others.
In his closing remarks, the Director General of the Sierra Leone Civil Aviation Authority, Moses Tiffa Baio thanked the Honorable Minister for his leadership role, noting that the certification process of the Freetown-Lungi International Airport involves four major areas among others are the documentations, staff training, infrastructure, rescue and firefighting capacity ,citing the signing of an MOU with the Summa Contraction Company for the expansion of the Airport, and adding that the documentations with the Airport Authority on their station work is ongoing .
He encouraged the Management and Board Members of the Sierra Leone Airport Authority to emphasize on staff training in order to make good use of the opportunity accorded to them.
He called on all stakeholders to take the Certification process seriously noting that it is the responsibility of all to ensure that the Airport meets the set standards for its certification.
In his concluding statement, the General Manager for the Sierra Leone Airport Authority (SLAA), Jack Massaquoi complemented the efforts of the Honorable Minister, noting that leadership is about providing solutions to the existing problems by bring people and institutions together to achieve specific goals.
He assured the Minister of his management’s commitment in ensuring the Certification of the Freetown-Lungi International Airport, citing that his management has engaged and send a proforma invoice for the Airfield right and other maintenance materials, adding that his management has paid 50% of the cost price.
He called for team work and dedication in the process of achieving the Certification of the Freetown-Lungi International Airport.
At the end of the meeting, in a bid to ensure the safety and security of staff of the Sierra Leone Civil Aviation Authority, the Minister of Transport and Aviation, Honorable Kabineh Kallon unveiled new customized personal protective equipment (PPEs) gears to the Management and Board Members and staff of the Civil Aviation Authority (SLCAA).