ICAO Commences Universal Security Audit Program on Sierra Leone Aviation Security Systems

The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has Commenced the Universal Security Audit Programme-Continuous Monitoring Approach on Sierra Leone Aviation Security Systems at the Freetown International Airport (FNA), Lungi on Wednesday 21st August 2019.

The national briefing session, which took place at the ministry’s Conference Hall in the presence of representatives from the Ministry of Transport and Aviation (MTA), Sierra Leone Civil Aviation Authority (SLCAA), Sierra Leone Airport Authority (SLAA), Board of Airline Representatives (BAR), Westminster Aviation Security Services (WASS), Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF) and Sierra Leone Police (SLP), opened the 10 days audit event.

The Universal Security Audit Programme is geared towards promoting global aviation security through continuous auditing and monitoring of the aviation security performance of Sierra Leone Aviation Security Systems from the regulator to the service providers. The audit plan entails a review of national/airport level documents, visit to the industry to observe security measures, follow-up activities and post-audit debriefing. 

In his remark, the Director General of the Sierra Leone Civil Aviation Authority Moses Tiffa Baio stressed the importance of the audit to the SLCAA and the country, while emphasizing on the State’s commitment in enhancing aviation  security in Sierra Leone in order to be in compliance with the Standards and Recommended Practices of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

DG Baio reminded the audience that Sierra Leone security ratings is currently below the regional and global average (65% and 70%) set by the Windhoek declaration on Aviation Security and Facilitation.

Briefing the representatives present, the leader of the 4-man delegation Aurelien Lavayssiere noted that the team was pleased to see state security institutions involved in promoting aviation security. He disclosed the audit would be a full-scale audit, covering 497 protocol questions. He added further that since the last audit, many developments have evolved especially with Annex 17 of which 4 amendments of the Annex 17 have been approved.

“The objective of the audit is to promote global aviation security and this is achieved by determining the level of effective implementation of the 8 Critical Elements (CE) of an aviation security oversight system and providing an indication of the Effective Implementation (EI) of Annex 17—Security Standards and security-related Standards of Annex 9—Facilitation to the Convention on International Civil Aviation. The audit will be based on 3 activities: Documentation-based, Oversight-focused and Compliance-focused audits,” he said. 

In his statement, the Minister of Transport and Aviation Hon. Kabineh Kallon expressed government’s commitment in enhancing global aviation security which he said was demonstrated by providing the Civil Aviation Authority with the full political support to amend the Civil Aviation Authority Act 2017; thereby providing sufficient enforcement powers to enable the Authority carry out its oversight responsibilities.