MTA, SLCAA Engage Service Providers on Better Service Delivery

29th July 2021

Freetown International Airport, Lungi

The Ministry of Transport and Aviation (MTA) in collaboration with the Sierra Leone Civil Aviation Authority (SLCAA) has engaged aviation service providers at the Freetown International Airport (FNA) on better service delivery.

In his statement, the Minister of Transport and Aviation, Kabineh Kallon, noted that there have been several complaints against airport workers for harassing passengers at arrival and departure, stating that the Ministry was going to change its monitoring and supervision strategies. He stressed that staff found in such activities would be dismissed and prosecuted in the court of law.

While admonishing them to learn from other airport operators within the sub-region, he explained the consequences of such an act, adding that it would muddle the image of the country and dampen the institution’s reputation. “It will be an embarrassment to the airport and the country as a whole to see the photo of any staff making rounds on social media for baggage pilferage,” the Minister stated.

“I urge you to continue adhering to the health measures instituted by the health authorities. We have to help the Ministry of Health and Sanitation and the National COVID-19 team to keep our country free from COVID-19.”

The Minister ended by urging service providers to refrain from such acts, calling on them to act patriotically by putting Sierra Leone first and embracing those sacred words of “land that we love our Sierra Leone”.

National Revenue Authority’s Deputy Commissioner General, Jeneba J Bangura, thanked the Minister of Transport and Aviation for inviting all service providers working at the airport to such a meeting, re-echoing that the Freetown International Airport was the face of the country and that any time someone comes to Sierra Leone for the first time, the services they get tells them the country they are visiting. She concluded by assuring the Minister of NRA’s support in this fight.

Responding to the Minister’s statement, Airport’s Immigration Head, Mohamed Koroma, reminded service providers that the Freetown International Airport is the only airport in the country and called on all to offer their best services not only to the people of this country but to foreigners coming in. Sia Alhassan-Kabia, representing ONS at FNA also noted that they would continue to give their very best in providing the necessary services to all passengers passing through the Airport. She further thanked the Minister for organising such a meeting which she considered timely.

The General Manager of Sky Handling Partner (SHP), Peter Metz, believed that they have zero tolerance for bribery and theft, maintaining that they had dismissed a staff who was found in an act of baggage pilferage. He welcomed the Minister’s statement of not only dismissing people but also prosecuting them in the court of law and assured the Minister of their support in tracking down all those that seem to be counterproductive to the development of the airport.  

Giving the closing remarks, the SLCAA Director-General, Moses Tiffa Baio, expressed profound thanks to the Minister for his presence and level of commitment to the development of the aviation industry in Sierra Leone.

He further re-echoed that the meeting was not summoned for people to defend positions of their organizations but rather to speak on the many complaints that have been coming from the travelling public and find solutions to them.

“Aviation is guided by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs). If we adhere to all these regulations, practices, and or guiding principles we will not have been experiencing these problems,” DG Baio said.

DG Baio disclosed they would not only move to the level of enforcement and prosecuting workers found in such an act, but they would also blacklist individuals. “We do not want to be recycling staff who are not professionals within the industry; we will move beyond those words now,” he ended.

©SLCAA COMMUNICATIONS