Thursday, September 19, 2019 1:26 pm
There are Third World Countries, but there are no Third World Airports. The Freetown International Airports (FNA), like all other operating airports, is subjected to the same International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards and recommended practices. This, in essence, is what makes the aviation world unique. Freetown International Airports, joins the world over to maintain and uphold these best practices that are encouraging our traveling public to travel on a daily basis through FNA. That is why we will proudly say, we have a safe aerodrome and the requisite facilities to provide for aviation safety that are being regularly upgraded to meet international standards for a safe and secured airport.
This year under review is punctuated with commitment, hard work with my professional management team of the Authority. That is why this year has witnessed immense developmental milestone achievements all geared towards making the Freetown International Airport a safe and secured hub and a world class service provider to the traveling public, staff, airport stakeholders and partners. We ensure the safety, security and comfort of all our clients that fly through our airspace to the friendly shores of the airport.
We continue to work with the government and our national regulatory bodies in ensuring that the overall objective of the nation is achieved. On the global front, we remain a member of ICAO and other international bodies and strive to maintain the required standards set for the industry.
We also remain committed to our Corporate Social Responsibilities CRS and we continue to have a fruitful and convivial relationship with our host community – the Kaffu Bullom Chiefdom.
Toll Gate – In a bid to maintain decorum, safety and security of our airport and its users, we have installed an automated toll gate at the FNA to electronically record all entry and exit and generate income for us. It is part of our overall security measures to improve on our services.
Meters and Greeters – We care for all those who access our facility, whether passengers or their loved ones who both come to see them off or receive them. As such, we endeavor to make them comfortable. We are currently constructing a befitting waiting place for the visiting public.
Installation of a New Generator- We have purchased and installed a 1.1 megawatt generator to boost our power generation at the airport. This has helped a sustained and reliable power balance throughout our operations.
Re Construction and Re Furbishment of a New Staff Canteen – Our staff is the backbone of our operations which makes their welfare a key priority on our scale of preference. After a just concluded Staff Association election, we have refurbished the staff canteen that does not only cater for our staff at a very reasonable cost but the general public as well.
Procurement of new fire engine – we have procured an additional fire truck to our firefighting arsenal to boost our preparedness, not only for the airport but for the community. A fire engine (also known in some territories as a fire truck or fire appliance) is key in aviation for fire safety. It is designed primarily for firefighting operations to meet the safety requirements of our airport.
Airport Safety Simulation Exercise
The Sierra Leone Airports Authority and its stakeholders concluded its safety simulation exercise on Saturday 17th August 2019 at the Freetown International Airport in Lungi.
This is in consistence with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Document 9137 part 7 to assure the general traveling public and all Airport users that the exercise is a demonstration of airport preparedness in the event of emergencies. The Aviation world over are being guided by stringent instruments. The airport emergency response is ever ready to tackle any unforeseen incident of such a safety concern, therefore the traveling public must be confident that there are professionals that are capable of responding to emergencies in a timely manner. The aviation sector is a highly regulated industry with a mandate to ensure safety and security of our airspace. SLAA has established an emergency response plan that is activated in the event of an emergency and the just concluded exercise is a good way of testing that document.
Human Resource Development
Continuous Staff Training – We continue to build our staff capability both locally and internationally to be at par with our global counterparts and provide quality service to our clientele.
Security in Top Gear – We have increased our security vigilance at all levels thereby making our airport safe for both human and non-human materials. Pilfering is now a thing of the past at FNA as robust measures have been instituted from both the air and land sides of the airport.
A Friendly Airport
Reduction of Taxes – In a bid to make our airport attractive in the industry, we have reduced taxes. In all, 35% has been reduced as follows: PSC from $40 to $25 per passenger, IDC from $10 to $5, Landing has reduced by 34% this is believed to help in attracting more airlines and other service providers to our airport. In the case of airlines, this will attract them and make travelling cheaper for our people and visitors to Sierra Leone.
Assistance to the Community and Others – We continue to lend a helping hand to our host community and beyond as part of our Corporate Social Responsibility.
Support to Education – We continue to give scholarships to various beneficiaries from primary school to universities. Through our “Friendly Airport” program, we allow academic field trips to the airport from various schools and colleges across the country. We open our doors to students of higher education for research and internship purposes.
FNA remains a growing airport in every sense of the word and no stone is being left unturned for more improvements. We thank the Government of Sierra Leone and all our friendly partners for their continued support and anticipate a continuation of the fruitful relationship.