Ahead of 2023 USOAP… SLCAA Hosts ICAO ROST Assistance Mission Team

18th July 2022

SLCAA Conference Hall – Freetown

The Sierra Leone Civil Aviation Authority (SLCAA) International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has hosted the Western and Central Africa Regional Office (WACAF), which provides Regional Office Safety Team (ROST) Assistance Mission to States ahead of the ICAO Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP) in 2023.

ROSTs were established in 2019, within the Eastern and Southern African (ESAF) Office and the Western and Central Africa (WACAF) Office, to provide appropriate support to States in their efforts to resolve deficiencies identified through the ICAO Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP) Continuous Monitoring Approach (CMA) activities and the gap analysis process undertaken under the Africa-Indian Ocean (AFI) Plan.

The five-day (18th – 22nd July 2022) assistance mission aims to review the 2020 edition of the USOAP CMA Protocol Questions (PQs) in the following audit areas: Primary Aviation Legislation and Civil Aviation Regulations (LEG), Civil Aviation Organization (ORG), Personnel Licensing (PEL), Aircraft Operations (OPS) and Airworthiness of Aircraft (AIR). The team will also gather evidence concerning the current level of the State’s oversight capability, assist the State to prepare for the USAOP CMA Audit in May 2023, determine the progress in the State PQs self-assessment implementations, and update the ICAO Plan of Action accepted by Sierra Leone, which was reviewed in 2019.

The Director-General of SLCAA, Dr Moses Tiffa Baio, on behalf of the Government and the People of Sierra Leone, welcomed the delegation and expressed gratitude to the ICAO WACAF Regional Office for their continued support to Sierra Leone.

“Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, this is the first ROST Assistance Mission ICAO has organised within the WACAF region. It shows ICAO’s level of commitment towards the state of Sierra Leone in ensuring that her safety deficiencies are addressed,” Dr Baio said.

He re-echoed the spirit of the “No Country Left Behind” initiative developed by ICAO to support Member States to effectively implement ICAO’s Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) and policies.                             

Dr Baio noted that the SLCAA was very well appreciative of ICAOs contribution to Sierra Leone; and promised to take advantage of this opportunity in achieving the global aviation safety target. “The SLCAA will make ICAO very proud come 2023,” he ended.

On his part, the Chairman of the SLCAA Board of Directors, Patrick Jaia Kaikai, observed that it was not the first time WACAF had provided assistance mission to SLCAA. Chairman Kaikai called on the staff of the SLCAA to give their maximum support in passing the USOAP CMA Audit next year and write history in the aviation industry in Sierra Leone.

In his statement, the Head of the ICAO delegation, Ousman Kemo Manjang, who also doubles as the ICAO Regional Officer, Airworthiness of Aircraft (RO/AIR), expressed elation on the level of commitment by the management of SLCAA in addressing the State’s safety deficiencies identified so far. He encouraged the SLCAA to continue in this direction and assured that scoring 90% in next year’s USOAP CMA was very realistic.

“From my last visit in 2014 to now, I can confirm that this current management has greatly transformed the SLCAA which I believe will eventually lead to better productivity. I sense a great collaboration between the Management and the Board of Directors,” he stated.

He furthered that the mission’s objective was to assist the State in building capacity and resolving outstanding USOAP CMA related to safety deficiencies; revealing that ROSTs are part of AFI Plan activities. “Set the Olympic target in passing the USOAP CMA Audit next year. WACAF is counting a lot on the SLCAA, as your progress is a good reflection on the ICAO Regional Office,” he said.

The Head of Delegation revealed that the next phase of the ROST Assistance Mission which would take place later this year would cover Air Navigation Services (ANS), Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation (AIG) and Aerodromes and Ground Aids (AGA).

Presenting the mission’s mandate, the ICAO Regional Officer, Flight Safety (RO/FS), Kebba Lamin Jammeh, maintained that the assistance under the ROST mission was provided in terms of the order of priority starting with the need to resolve any Significant Safety Concerns (SSCs), address USOAP related safety deficiencies with the eventual focus on the improvement of the rate of Effective Implementation (EI) of the critical elements of the State’s safety oversight system and to implement State Safety Programme (SSP) and related Safety Management System (SMS).

“The ROST assistance activities are coordinated with relevant stakeholders, including African Civil Aviation Commission/Africa-Indian Ocean (AFCAC/AFI), Cooperative Inspectors Scheme (CIS), Regional Safety Oversight Organizations/Cooperative Development of Operational Safety and Continuing Airworthiness Programmes (RSOOs/COSCAPs) and concerned States to ensure effective implementation and to avoid duplication of efforts related to safety activities,” he explained.

He reminded that safety oversight functions were means by which states ensure effective implementation of ICAO Safety-related Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) as contained in the relevant Annexes to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, Critical Elements (CEs) of a States Safety Oversight System and the Relevant safety practices and operating modes.