SLCAA and ACI conclude Airport Safety Review at FNA

Friday 26th July, 2019.

The Sierra Leone Civil Aviation Authority (SLCAA) and the Airport Council International (ACI) have concluded the first ever Airport Excellence (APEX) in safety review program at the Freetown International Airport (FNA).

The five-day event was conducted to assess the level of safety of the airport, identify gaps and provide a strategic road map in pursuit of promoting safer airport operations and cooperation among ICAO, ACI and the Government of Sierra Leone through the Ministry of Transport and Aviation and the Sierra Leone Civil Aviation Authority.

The ACI APEX review focused on safety level of FNA and set the stage for a successful airport certification process in 2020, thus making Sierra Leone comply with ICAO SARPS as well fulfilling a key policy priority of President Bio towards the development of the air transport industry in Sierra Leone.

The process technically focused on various operational areas; runway safety, safety management systems (SMS), aerodrome certification, wildlife hazard management, rescue and firefighting, Emergency response, improvement of the aeronautical information publication (AIP) documentation, movement area maintenance, aerodrome works safety, Apron safety management, disabled aircraft removal, airside vehicle operations and the airport performance review on operational efficiency.  

Briefing representatives from the Ministry of Transport and Aviation (MTA), SLCAA and SLAA, the head of the delegation Romesh Bhoyroo reiterated the purpose of the APEX review and emphasized that the implementation of the Corrective Action Plan will significantly improve the level of safety of the Aviation Industry in compliance with ICAO SARPs and National Regulations (SLCARs).

*“The Airport Excellence in safety program is important in promoting the Sierra Leone Aviation industry internationally. It demonstrates to global airlines as well as the international aviation community that the aviation sector in Sierra Leone is committed to ensuring that the required safety target which is a key priority is achieved. This is achievable if the relevant authorities are determined and focus on working on all findings highlighted,”* he said. 

On the Airports Safety Management System (SMS), Glawdys Akete mentioned that SMS is a fundamental component of the certification process, which constitutes of the airport infrastructure, documentations and standard operating procedures that has to be implemented. She emphasized on the need to conduct a gap analysis in line with establishing an implementation plan that satisfies the ICAO SARPs which will serve as a road map to safety management system implementation.

The General Manager of the Sierra Leone Airport Authority, Ebenezer Macauley expressed his institution’s unwavering commitment to ensure prompt implementation of the Corrective action plan and get the airport certified by 2020.

In his closing courtesy, the deputy Minister of Transport and Aviation Sadiq Sillah acknowledged the initiative of the Director General of the Sierra Leone Civil Aviation Authority in inviting the team of experts from ACI to conduct a safety review of the airport prior to its certification. He believed that both the SLCAA and SLAA have the capacity to implement all the recommendations submitted by the ACI team of experts. In concluding, he called on all parties concerned to work assiduously in developing the Aviation industry.