The Minister of Transport and Aviation Meets ICAO Technical Cooperation Bureau

The Sierra Leone delegation to the ICAO 40th Triennial Assembly led by the Minister of Transport and Aviation, Hon. Kabineh Kallon has made a follow up meeting with the Technical Cooperation Bureau (TCB) for the development of Civil Aviation Master Plan for Sierra Leone.

The proposed Civil Aviation Master Plan, which comprises airport master plan, Air Navigation plan, security and facilitation plan, is essential for the growth of a sound air transport project that will ensure the growth, safety, efficiency and effectiveness of Civil Aviation in compliance with ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs).

The Minister of Transport and Aviation, Hon. Kabineh Kallon said the development of the Air Transport Master Plan to foster the development of an economically viable civil aviation system was a key policy initiative of President Julius Maada Bio as referenced in his State Opening Address in May last year, and as the Minister responsible for aviation, he added that Aviation Master Plan must be one of the government’s key achievement.

In addition to the Minister’s statement, the Director General of Sierra Leone Civil Aviation Authority (SLCAA), Moses Tiffa Baio recalled a team from Sierra Leone met with the Bureau during the Air Navigation Conference last year requesting for their assistance to develop a Civil Aviation Master for Sierra Leone. He added that the Bureau had expressed commitment by assigning a focal person and promising to draft a terms of reference for the project.  

“The Civil Aviation Master Plan is essentially important for the modernization, rehabilitation and growth of the air transport sector in Sierra Leone. In the period of waiting, we received a resubmission of draft proposal from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) which we forwarded to the Technical Cooperation Bureau. We told IATA that we were already in discussion with TCB. We forwarded the draft copy from IATA but we did not receive and response from the Bureau,” he said.

The Director of ICAO Technical Bureau Cooperation, Jorge Vargas noted the significance of the Civil Aviation Master Plan to the State. “What we are going to do in order to achieve this goal is to take up the responsibility and move as fast as possible to submit the first draft of the document. We commit ourselves to submit the first draft of the Civil Aviation Master Plan in two weeks’ time. We guarantee transparency in every document we provide to Member States and we ensure that all services delivered will be in full compliance with ICAO SARPs,” he assured.

The Director of the Bureau appreciated the level of trust and confidence the team from Sierra Leone had in the Bureau, especially in carrying out the proposed project, adding it was the responsibility of TCB to provide Member States with technical expertise, procurement services, trainings and fellowships. He also proposed a Skype Conversation later this month to discuss more on the proposed Master Plan and training needs of the SLCAA.

The Head of Project Development Unit of TCB, Guillermo Iovino emphasized that the responsibility of the Bureau was to integrate the Airport Master Plan, Air Navigation Plan, Security, Facilitation, infrastructure and environment into the Civil Aviation Master Plan to ensure compatibility.

Discussions were also made on fellowship programmes for Sierra Leone which the representatives of the Bureau assured they would look into.