SLWIA Engages Female Aviation Workers in Security Culture

SLCAA Training Hall, Lungi

The Sierra Leone Women in Aviation (SLWIA) in collaboration with the Sierra Leone Civil Aviation Authority (SLCAA) and the Sierra Leone Airports Authority (SLAA) has engaged female staff within the Aviation Industry in raising awareness of Aviation Security Culture. 

The objective of the one-day workshop was to discuss the importance of Aviation Security Culture which is an important aspect of the civil aviation system. Aviation Security is a combination of measures, and human and materials resources to safeguard civil aviation against acts of unlawful interference. Unlawful interference could be acts of terrorism, sabotage, a threat to life and property, communication of false threats, bombing, etc. 

It could be recalled that Sierra Leone scored 71.6% in the 2019 International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Universal Security Audit Programme (USAP), and Continuous Monitoring Approach (CMA), which was above the Regional Average of 65%.

In his statement, the General Manager of the Sierra Leone Airports Authority (SLAA), Jack Massaquoi, extended his warmest appreciation to SLWIA for bringing together women from all sectors within the aviation industry in Sierra Leone. He stressed that effective security is critical to any organization and that, it is inherent in the daily operations of an organization and these are reflected by the actions and behaviours of all entities and personnel. “Security should be everyone’s responsibility”, he maintained.

Making a PowerPoint presentation on the global and national security culture perspectives, Regina Minah and Frances Conteh, Senior Aviation Security Inspectors at the Sierra Leone Civil Aviation Authority, observed that positive security culture is when security is viewed throughout all levels of the organization as a core function and a shared responsibility. It means that everyone, ranging from top executives to employees, is engaged, has a genuine concern, and takes appropriate action and responsibility for aviation security issues. 

They furthered that a strong security culture can result in the development of key values and aims which should be firmly upheld and shared by all stakeholders within the aviation industry. “Security culture may take time and commitment to develop, but when realized, it will provide an additional, comprehensive, and cost-effective layer to the protection of our industry”, they ended.

On her part, the Country Director of Westminster Aviation Security Services (WASS), Musayearoh Barrie, said her organization which provides aviation security services at the airport keeps providing human and material resources in maintaining standards at the Freetown International Airport. She revealed that they keep generating the prescribed development of security training for their staff, creating and implementing incident reporting mechanisms, security practices in performance evaluations, and developing communications plans that highlight security and share information on best practices. 

Making her keynote address, the Deputy Inspector General of Police, Elizabeth Turay, expressed elation for such a gathering of women within the aviation industry in Sierra Leone. Madam Turay encouraged the SLWIA membership to continue on this path with the words, “together we can bring the much-needed change”. 

She underscored that the promotion of effective security culture is critical to achieving good security outcomes at all levels in the aviation industry, also noting that a strong security culture must be developed by the top management. “The existence of a well-trained, motivated, and professional workforce is a critical prerequisite for effective aviation security”, she stated. 

The Deputy Inspector General ended by highlighting practical ways through which effective security culture can be achieved while referring to her work and experience in policing and border control. 

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