SLCAA DG Pays Courtesy Visit on the Turkish Ambassador

08th January 2020

Turkish Embassy, Freetown

The Director-General of Sierra Leone Civil Aviation Authority (SLCAA), on Friday, paid a courtesy visit on the Turkish Ambassador to Sierra Leone, His Excellency Deha Erpek.

It could be recalled that the Government of the Republic of Turkey and the Government of the Republic of Sierra Leone signed a Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) in Mumbai, India on 22nd October 2011, desiring to facilitate the expansion of International Air Service opportunities, recognising that efficient and competitive international air services could enhance economic growth, trade, tourism, investment and the welfare of consumers.

In his presentation, the DG Baio expressed his profound thanks and appreciation to the Turkish Ambassador for the operation of the Turkish Airline in Sierra Leone.

The Director-General further informed the Ambassador that Sierra Leone has been scheduled for the ICAO Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP) in November this year.

“The State will be audited as against November, we would not want to fail this audit because if we fail it will tell on the economy of the nation, and it will affect airlines operating in Sierra Leone, and Turkish Airline is one of those operating in Sierra Leone.”

“Turkish Embassy is one of those Authorities who we can reach out to in providing support in any area of intervention i.e., logistics, equipment for technical staff to carry out safety surveillance activities at the airport, that will help the State in passing the Safety Audit,” DG Baio noted.

He further underscored that the Sierra Leone provided free office space for Turkish Airlines at the airport during their establishment and currently providing a storage facility for most of their equipment. He maintained that the airline has excellent services but highlighted a few issues with regard to their operations i.e. No office space within Freetown and no resident Manager to discuss consumer complaints.

The SLCAA Boss concluded by recognising the potential Turkey has in the aviation industry and promised that as an Authority they would do everything within their powers for the airline to continue operations and eventually increase their frequency.

The Turkish Ambassador to Sierra Leone, HE Deha Erpek, in his response, commended the SLCAA for the strides taken in making the aviation Industry in Sierra Leone very competitive.

HE Deha Erpek disclosed that they were ready to support the SLCAA in passing the scheduled ICAO Safety Audit.

“We will welcome whatever request from the SLCAA in making sure that they pass the ICAO Safety Audit,” the Ambassador reiterated.

He added that the Embassy had been pushing for Turkish Airlines to have an office space in Freetown and if not for the COVID-19 Pandemic, he furthered, the airline would have secured one in Freetown.

“During this COVID-19 Pandemic, Turkish Airline suffered huge financial loss, and as a result, they had to close most of their offices around the world,” the Ambassador revealed.

HE Deha Erpek maintained that: “At the moment Turkish Airline is enjoying a perfect relationship with the travelling public and promised to inform the Turkish Airline management about the visit of the DG and team.”

He thanked the SLCAA for the prompt and efficient reply to all communique sent to the Authority and assured the DG and team of his continued support where needed.