President Bio Commissions the New Ultra-Modern Freetown International Airport

3rd March 2023

New Freetown International Airport,

Port Loko Road, Lungi

His Excellency the President, Brig. (Rtd.) Dr. Julius Maada Bio has commissioned the New Freetown International Airport.

It could be recalled that in November 2020, President Bio, in his effort to make Sierra Leone a competitive touristic destination that is safe, reliable, efficient, affordable and a hub for aviation activities within the sub-region, turned the sod for the construction of the New Freetown International Airport. 

Welcoming guests to the commissioning ceremony, the Paramount Chief of Kaffu Bullom Chiefdom, Hon. PC Bai Shebora Sheba Gbereh III, expressed that the commissioning of the New Freetown International Airport is a laudable testimony to the strong commitment of the government of President Bio to the development of not only Kaffu Bullom Chiefdom, but the entire country.

The Vice President of SUMMA, Fatih BORA, recalled that when they signed the agreement in 2020, most people were sceptical about the completion of the airport. While revealing that they were able to do all these work within 16 months. He stated that the New Freetown International Airports is the most sustainable airport within the sub-region with a solar farm generating 1.8mw electricity. He thanked his team for their commitment, time and effort in making sure that the work is completed in record time.

On behalf of the International Air Trasport Association (IATA), the Regional Director, Somas Appavou, reminded the gathering that an International Airports is the first touchpoint for Tourists arriving by Air which invariably means that it showcases what the visitor can expect to see and experience in the country.

The ICAO Regional Director, Western and Central African (WACAF) Office, Prosper Zo’o Minto’o, stated that the air transport sector is a key driver for sustainable economic and social development, which create jobs and contribute to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). On behalf of ICAO, he congratulated the Government of the Republic of Sierra Leone for this excellent achievement, and assured ICAO’s continued support and commitment to establish a robust air transport system that fully plays its role in supporting the country’s economic and social development

The Minister of Transport and Aviation, Hon. Kabineh Kallon, in his statement, maintained that one of the most ambitious manifesto promise of President Bio has come to fruition. He stated that the New Ultra-Modern Freetown International Airport is also part of the State response to the connectivity issue in the context of the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM), and the broader African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

Making his keynote address, President Bio started by commending the SUMMA Group for delivering on their commitment just within two years, amidst the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

President Bio stated that this commissioning of the New Ultra-Modern Freetown International Airport is a new dawn in the aviation industry in Sierra Leone. “The Tok N DO is not just a mere talk, but our mindset, attitude and working hard in delivering on our promises. Thank you, SUMMA Group, for being a member of the Tok N Do family”.

President Bio furthered that this commissioning also signifies that Sierra Leone has become a conducive destination for Foreign Direct Investment within the sub-region.

Giving the closing courtesy, the Director General of the Sierra Leone Civil Aviation Authority (SLCAA), Dr. Moses Tiffa Baio, started by thanking President Bio for making the aviation industry a national priority. “Mr. President, you said it in your New Direction Manifesto, and you have done it in your usual TALK and DO fashion”, he said.

Dr Baio appreciated the collaborated effort and support of the Ministry of Transport and Aviation, ICAO, IATA, the Board of Airline Representatives and all other aviation stakeholders, stating that it is a true demonstration of the ‘No Country Left Behind’ initiative.

The New Freetown International Airport comes with a New Presidential Lounge, New Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting, New Cargo Terminal, New Taxiway of 2,300m, New Ultra-modern Passenger Terminal, servicing 1.2m passengers a year and with 4 Passenger Boarding Bridges, New Parking lot with space for more than 200 vehicles, New Ground Handling and Management Building, New Passenger Terminal Apron, Runway pavement of about 3,200m, Solar Farm that generates 1.8mw electricity, New Air Traffic Control Tower of about 38m high and New Commercial Zones.

H.E President Brig. (Rtd.) Dr. Julius Maada Bio
Brig. (Rtd.) Dr. Julius Maada Bio and Dr. Moses T Baio DG SLCAA