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Friday, June 14, 2024

As it Monitors Air Travel Agencies… Aviation DG to Deliver Insights on ‘Facilitating Air Traveller Journey’ at Global Summit in Saudi Arabia

By Amin Kef (Ranger)

The Director General of the Sierra Leone Civil Aviation Authority (SLCAA), Musayeroh Barrie has been invited to deliver remarks during Session 2 on Facilitating the Air Traveller Journey schedule to take place at the Facilitation 2024 (FAL.2024) Global Summit to be held at the King Abdul Aziz International Conference Centre in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia from the 21 to 22 May 2024.

It must be noted that under the auspices of the Council of ICAO, designating 2024 as the Year of Facilitation (FAL.2024), the ICAO FAL2024 Global Summit will focus on Annex 9 – Facilitation for which 2024 marks its 75th anniversary.

The Summit aims to promote the importance of Facilitation and enhance awareness of Annex 9 provisions. Considering the rapid technological changes, the event will emphasize the need to implement Annex 9 provisions to improve passenger experience.

The Summit will also discuss the processes to prevent and manage public health risks in aviation and highlight the benefits of using digital representation to respond to such crises.

Regarding the topic on which the Director General of the Sierra Leone Civil Aviation Authority (SLCAA), Musayeroh Barrie should dilate  “Facilitating the Air Traveller Journey”, will feature in the session which is intended to review the facilitation processes and the border control formalities with the aim of reducing congestion at departure control points and in the interests of improving facilitation by streamlining traffic flows.

The session will also discuss proposed unified and safe strategies for worldwide implementation leading to the rationalization of the processing of passengers and crews during their journey.

According to the organizers of the Summit, there is a need for continuing action by Member States to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of clearance control formalities, the establishment and active operation of national air transport facilitation programmes and facilitation committees is a proven means of effecting needed improvements.

They also noted that international cooperation on facilitation and coordination with various national and regional parties and industry stakeholders has substantially improved the passenger experience.

In a very important move, the Sierra Leone Civil Aviation Authority (SLCAA), through the Air Transport Regulation (ATR) officers, on Wednesday 8th April 2024, commenced a three-day on site inspection of Air Travel Agencies across Freetown.

The three-day on site inspection aligns with Section 15(2) of the Sierra Leone Civil Aviation Act, 2023, which mandates SLCAA to “Certify and Regulate air travel agencies”.

This exercise undertaken syncs with a Public Notice issued by the Authority on January 10th 2023 notifying air travel agencies to comply.

The essence of this inspection was geared towards having an updated data base of all operating Air Travel Agencies, encouraging unregistered Air Travel Agencies to be registered, prompt expired Licences Agents for renewal and for them to follow the standard operating procedures as Air Travel Agencies.

The ATR officers, during the on-site inspection, emphasized the need for protection of consumers’ rights and outlined their responsibilities as Air Travel Agencies.

As the SLCAA continues to vigilantly monitor operations of entities in the aviation industry, it is  dedicated to address issues as they arise, ensure a seamless and efficient aviation experience with the aims to elevate the standards of  the Freetown International Airport (FNA) and contribute to the growth of the aviation industry in Sierra Leone.

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