SLCAA, SLAA & IOM Organise COVID-19 Business Restart Training for all Frontline Workers at FNA

18th July 2020

Freetown International Airport, Lungi

The Sierra Leone Civil Aviation Authority (SLCAA), the Sierra Leone Airports Authority (SLAA), and the International Organisation on Migration (IOM) have organised a COVID-19 business restart training for all frontline workers at the Freetown International Airport (FNA), ahead of the resumption of commercial flight operations.

The objective of the training, among others, involved the training of all frontline workers on the new Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for the post-COVID-19 resumption of operations at the Freetown International Airport and training on Infection Prevention Control (IPC) to minimise the risk of spreading COVID-19.

Declaring the training session open, the Public Relations Manager, Betty Mallay Braima informed the gathering on the role of SLAA in guiding them through the SOPs that were developed and approved by the SLCAA, stating further that IOM together with MoHS would provide training on IPC for Port Health staff and all other essential frontline workers at the Freetown International Airport.

In his statement, the General Manager of the Sierra Leone Airports Authority, Ebenezer Macauley said the aim of the business restart training was to create an understanding of the new COVID-19 screening for passengers, staff protection, and the introduction of additional measures for the entire passenger travel process. He maintained that the training would provide a guide to ensure operations were not chaotic. The smooth passenger journey, he added, would require close collaboration amongst aviation stakeholders.

The Personnel Licensing Manager of the Sierra Leone Civil Aviation Authority, Sam Abokie emphasized that all various efforts towards reopening would come to naught if the frontline staff were not adequately trained to perform their roles in the arrival and departure COVID-19 protocols and procedures. While thanking SLAA and IOM for undertaking this program, he believed that the objective of the training would be achieved.

The Project Manager for the International Organisation on Migration, Kunikazu Akao believed that the successful reopening of the Freetown International Airport would largely depend on the business restart training in that it would guide frontline workers on maintaining all the necessary public health measures. While commenting further, he disclosed that workers would be trained on understanding agencies’ SOPs and simulation of SOP procedures, key IPC Concepts, safe wearing and removing of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), detonation and waste management, etc.

In his concluding remark, the Director-General of the Sierra Leone Civil Aviation Authority, Moses Tiffa Baio expressed delight in the training of frontline workers, adding that without the training, workers would run the risk of contracting the disease. “Today, we have concluded the refresher training for all frontline workers in the aviation industry as recommended by MoHS, NaCOVERC, and IOM. After the training, frontline workers should have the requisite knowledge to take precautionary measures to reduce the possibility of infection and have the confidence to manage a suspected case,” he said.

The business restart training covered a total number of 450 frontline workers from the Westminster Aviation Security Services (WASS), Port Health, Sky Handling Partners (SHP), Office of National Security (ONS), Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces, Sierra Leone Police (SLP), Pathfinders, Securiport, Immigration, National Revenue Authority (NRA), Airport Profiling Service (APS), etc.