President Bio Turns Sod for the Construction of New Terminal Building at FNA
12th November 2020
Freetown International Airport, Lungi
In an effort to make Sierra Leone a competitive touristic destination and a hub for aviation activities in Africa, His Excellency Dr Julius Maada Bio has turned the sod for the construction of a New Terminal Building with other airport infrastructure for the Freetown International Airport (FNA) in Lungi.
The overall impact of this huge investment in the state aviation infrastructure signalled that Sierra Leone could meet the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) requirements for Airport Certification for an International Airport like FNA.
President Bio mentioned that the new airport would accommodate much larger aircraft and would also have a new passenger, VIP and Presidential terminals with state-of-the-art equipment.
The Vice President of SUMMA, Fatih BORA maintained that they were privileged to be part of this process and that they believed in the great potential of Sierra Leone, noting further that they were very happy to bring their capacity and experience in the construction and operation of the airport infrastructure and they had already built several airports in the region. He concluded by revealing they would complete the project in 24 months.
The Minister of Transport and Aviation, Hon. Kabineh Kallon, in his statement, stressed that the gathering was significant because the government had recognised Air Transport as key to economic development. He furthered that an increased Airport capacity could raise productivity in other sectors of the economy, such as Tourism and International trade.
“The APEX safety review report highlighted several safety deficiencies, which included but not limited to Runway Pavement Cracks, damage to Runway Shoulders, Apron Pavement, and Damage to Runway strips, etc. The implementation of this project is not only timely but appropriate for the implementation of the Corrective Action Plan (CAP) towards having a successful Airport Certification for Freetown International Airport ahead of the ICAO Universal Safety Oversight Audit in November 2021,” the Minister said.
The Director-General of Sierra Leone Civil Aviation Authority, Moses Tiffa Baio, in an interview after the ceremony, expressed elation in the massive investment in the state aviation infrastructure, adding that it would be a fulfilment of President Bio’s vision to transform the aviation industry in Sierra Leone.
DG Baio maintained that: “At the moment, the state of Sierra Leone’s Aviation Infrastructure at the Freetown International Airport does not meet the safety standards as required by
ICAO and our national regulations for safe international aerodrome operations.”
“With the development of the airport infrastructure and the Certification thereof, our airport is less risky and less costly to operate for international airlines. This will have the potential to reduce the cost of airline operations and by extension the cost of tickets to and from Sierra Leone. It will also encourage more international airlines to operate in Sierra Leone, which will spur competition in the industry; and with the competition, we expect better service delivery from the airlines,” the Director-General concluded.