Sierra Leone Civil Aviation Authority (SLCAA) on a ZOOM Video Conference engaged the Sierra Leone Airports Authority (SLAA) and SUMMA Construction Company on technical concerns relating to the extension of the Freetown International Airport (FNA).
While recalling the occasion on the turning of the sod for the expansion of the Freetown International Airport (FNA) with the aim of making aviation a hub in West Africa, the Director-General of SLCAA, Moses Tiffa Baio revealed that the meeting would lay the foundation for the successful implementation of the Airport expansion project.
“We noted very well that the government has signed a contract with SUMMA Construction Company for the expansion of FNA. SUMMA has already agreed to comply with the Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) during the expansion of the airport,” DG Baio said.
DG Baio assured of SLCAA’s support for the successful implementation of the project, stressing that investment in Aviation Infrastructure was a key component of safety management in addressing some of the safety deficiencies identified in past ICAO Audits and the Airport Council International-ACI APEX Review Report.
“SLCAA notes very well the economic significant a successful implementation of this project will bring to the aviation industry in Sierra Leone. We want SUMMA to understand the requirements based on the CAA Regulations and the ICAO SARPs which the State will be looking out for in the development of the project so that at the end of the day, this airport when completed will be certified by the CAA,”* he concluded.
On his part, the Deputy General Manager of the Sierra Leone Airport Authority (SLAA), Bobson Kargbo expressed that the airport management was fully aware of SUMMA’s contractual agreement signed with the Government of Sierra Leone and that the project site had been handed over to them.
“During this meeting, I believe we will be able to seek clarification on key technical issues relating to the Certification of the Airport and the expansion project to avoid duplication of resources,”* SLAA Deputy General Manager remarked.
He maintained that the airport’s technical team was in full gear to support and provide technical data that was needed by SUMMA for the implementation of this project. He ended by stating the expertise of other service providers at the airport, particularly Westminster Security Services and Sky Handling Partners would be beneficial to the implementation of the expansion project.
On behalf of SUMMA, the Project Manager, Arif Erdem Arikan expressed thanks to SLCAA for organizing such a meeting. He continued that with this meeting they would be able to identify, understand and address all the technical concerns from both sides. Arif Erdem Arikan further inquired about the ICAO Audit Report on the Airport after 2016 and the State’s level of compliance with ICAO in 2020.
Presenting Sierra Leone’s Aviation Safety Audit and the ICAO Coordinated Validation Mission (ICVM), Arnold Bangura, SLCAA’s Safety Manager/National Continuous Monitoring Coordinator (NCMC) revealed the Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP) of the Civil Aviation system of Sierra Leone conducted in 2006 generated an overall Less Effective Implementation (LEI) of 85.55% for the eight Critical Elements (CEs) of the State with Effective Implementation (EI) of 14.45%.
On the Technical Concern for the expansion project, Lyat Mason, SLCAA Aerodrome and Ground Aids (AGA) Manager highlighted that Structural Design (design analysis, drawings, maps, charts) of all Airside Infrastructure should be compliant with the provisions of the relevant Sierra Leone Civil Aviation Regulations, Industry Guidance Materials, and the relevant ICAO Design requirements, adding that they were to be provided to the CAA for verification and approval.
Mason further referenced the CAA Act 2019, Section 100 “A person shall not establish an aerodrome for public use unless an aerodrome certificate for that aerodrome has been issued by the Authority under this Act,” she ended.
Giving the closing courtesy, the SLCAA Deputy Director General-Technical, Fatu-Maria Wurie Conteh expressed that the meeting with SUMMA was timely and continued that SLCAA would support the project and ensure its successful implementation.