BAGAIA Commissioner Pays Courtesy Call on MTA and SLCAA

17th December, 2020

Youyi Building, Freetown

The Commissioner of the Banjul Accord Group Accident Investigation Agency (BAGAIA) paid a courtesy call on the Ministry of Transport and Aviation and the SLCAA.

It could be noted that the agreement for the establishment of BAGAIA was developed and signed by the Ministers of Transport/Aviation of BAG Member States in Montreal on 30th June 2009 and witnessed by the Secretary-General of ICAO.

“The Banjul Group, which is made up of several West African countries, including Sierra Leone, Cape Verde, the Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Nigeria, and Liberia, opted to set up this important institution in 2004 for Regional Aviation Safety with its headquarters in Cape Verde.”

In his Presentation, the BAGAIA Commissioner Engr. Charles Irikefe Erhueh, maintained that the mandate of BAGAIA was to assist the Banjul Accord Group (BAG) Member States in the conduct of an independent investigation of aircraft accidents and serious incidents in compliance with international standards, stressing that their vision was to be a leading regional accident investigation agency.

“We are here this morning to brief you, Sir, on the activities of BAGAIA, as you may know, many things have evolved after the signing of the agreement,” he noted.

“Our primary aim of this visit is to make sure that the State of Sierra Leone set up its Accident and Incident Investigation component, strengthen cooperation and collaboration between member States in respect to the investigation of accidents and serious incidents. Also, to help develop a common set of regulations (compliant with Annex 13), develop guidance materials, investigators handbooks, manuals and checklists”, he concluded.

The Hon. Minister Kabineh Kallon, who doubles as the Chairman, Council of Ministers of the Banjul Group, in his response, expressed thanks and appreciation to the team on behalf of the Government for making such a visit.

“This shows that as a country if we work together, we can do more,” Hon. Kabineh Kallon stated.

 “On the setting up of the Accident and Incident Investigation Department here in Sierra Leone, we will sit and discuss with the SLCAA, being the technical body charged with such responsibility. We will also try to discuss with the Ministry of Finance in seeing how best we will try to settle our subscriptions to BAGAIA”.

“As a government, we are not averse to the setting up of this department, it is a safety issue, we are always ready to cooperate with other member States. We will do all in our capacity to make sure that we have a functional independent Accident and Incident Investigation Department in Sierra Leone”, the Minister concluded.

The Permanent Secretary, Brima Sowa, also started by extending thanks to the team for such a comprehensive presentation to the Ministry. He informed the team that Cabinet Paper had been put together for the setting up of an independent Accident and Incident Investigation Department here in Sierra Leone. 

“This is an obligation on our side, and for that reason, we are in advance stage with the plans now,” the PS said. 

In his statement, the DG of SLCAA, Moses Tiffa Baio, updated the Minister on the session held with the BAGAIA Commissioner at the Authority’s office, which they were able to interact with the management of the Authority.

“The Commissioner and his team were able to proffer some advice as to how the State of Sierra Leone will set up the Accident and Incident Investigation Department.”

“The BAGAIA team will continue on the technical level with the SLCAA technical team to look at the State’s Corrective Action Plans, and the Protocol Questions that are related to the Accident and Incident Investigation,” DG Baio said.

DG Baio further underscored that their visit to Sierra Leone was not only timely but appropriate. He, however, maintained that there are a lot of issues they have been demystified in their presentation and that all stakeholders present, now clearly understands what is expected from the State.

 “The development in the infrastructure is signaling that in the next coming years there will be an increase in aviation activities, judging by that, there are necessary infrastructures need to be put in place,” DG Baio ended.