SLCAA and ACI Commence APEX Review for Airport Assessment

The Sierra Leone Civil Aviation Authority (SLCAA) and the Airport Council International (ACI) have commenced the Airport Excellence (APEX) in safety programme for the review of the Freetown International Airport.

The Airport Excellence in Safety programme is a five day event carried out by the ACI to respond to aviation safety worldwide. The programme is designed to assist airports of all sizes with a goal to improve their level of safety and compliance with ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs).

In his presentation, the Director General of Sierra Leone Civil Aviation Moses Tiffa Baio recalled his maiden meeting with the ACI team in Abuja June this year where he informed ACI about the state commitment in enhancing its safety ratings to match up with the Abuja Safety Targets of which airport certification is a key criterion.

“During our discussion, I reiterated the need for an Apex Review which would serve as part of preparatory stage of the certification project for Freetown International Airport. This has been one of the key policy priority programmes of HE President Julius Maada Bio to transform the aviation industry and enhance aviation safety of Sierra Leone,” he said. 

The Director of Strategy and Business Development ACI, Romesh Bhoyroo said that meeting government officials was a proving sign of the states’s commitment to the process; adding they were here to assess the airport and present an honest report on their findings. 

“The review will look at 3 broad areas: identifying the problem(s), looking at the FNA certification process and looking at the Safety Management System. After the APEX Review, the state should be able to have a clearly defined roadmap to solve the posing issues. The ACI will also assist the state with the Africa Airports Development Programme which will provide Sierra Leone with experts and training programmes with no cost attached,” he maintained. 

The General Manager Sierra Leone Airport Authority, Ebenezer Macauley welcomed the team and pledged his full commitment to the process; believing the review was the first step towards achieving the certification of the Freetown International Airport. 

After the review process, the Freetown International Airport would have enhanced its level of safety through knowledge of regulatory standards, best operational practices and training needs/options; provided thorough understanding of its own safety performance, identified areas for improved efficiency and better use of resources, allowed access to a pool of expertise, facilitated the mitigation of any safety gaps as required by its specific operating environment, initiated a cycle of continuous improvement. ©SLCAA COMMUNICATIONS