First Set of SLCAA Airworthiness Inspectors Depart to Italy for Training

By Amin Kef (Ranger)

In line with the milestone agreements with the EU Safety Commission, the first group of Airworthiness Inspectors from the Sierra Leone Civil Aviation Authority (SLCAA) departed for Italy on Wednesday, July 3, 2024. The inspectors will undergo practical training on the process of issuing Air Operator Certificates (AOCs) at the Italian Civil Aviation Authority (ENAC) facilities.

Musayeroh Barrie, Director General of SLCAA, expressed her satisfaction, stating, “This is a very happy moment as we send off the first set of Airworthiness Inspectors to Italy to undertake their AOC practicals with ENAC. Sierra Leone’s aviation space is ready for business.”

The foundation for this cooperation was laid during the ICAN Summit in Riyadh in December 2023, where initial discussions between the aviation authorities of both nations took place.

It also follows a landmark visit by Italy’s Civil Aviation Authority, led by President Pierluigi Umberto, to Sierra Leone earlier this year

Director General Musayeroh Barrie and her team welcomed the Italian delegation at State House for the official signing ceremony, highlighting the significant progress in bilateral cooperation.

A Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) and a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) were signed at State House in Freetown on March 22, 2024.

The agreement encompasses air transport services between Italy and Sierra Leone, technical assistance from the EU Safety Commission to remove Sierra Leone from the EU Safety List “Blacklist,” and collaboration in the production and distribution of Sustainable Aviation Fuel.

During the meeting, the Chief Minister of Sierra Leone, Dr David Moinina Sengeh expressed strong Government support for advancing the country’s aviation industry, emphasizing the importance of these bilateral relations.

President Pierluigi Umberto of ENAC reaffirmed Italy’s commitment to supporting Sierra Leone’s integration into international airspace and aiding its removal from the EU’s safety blacklist. He emphasized the mutual benefits envisioned by the agreements and Italy’s dedication to their implementation.

Deputy Minister of Transport and Aviation, Rex Bhonapha, expressed gratitude for the Italian delegation’s visit anticipating tangible progress toward the socio-economic benefits outlined in the agreements.

The delegation also met with the Vice President, who praised Director General Barrie and her team for their efforts in advancing President Bio’s vision for aviation growth.

The Italian delegation’s visit also included meetings with aviation stakeholders at the Freetown International Airport (FNA) and a tour of the new airport facilities. The visit promised to unlock numerous opportunities for Sierra Leone, including the potential establishment of an airline connecting Sierra Leone to Europe through Italy.

It was agreed that in the wake of the delegation’s visit, the SLCAA will engage with their Italian counterparts on various aviation-related topics, ranging from air transport to environmental issues.

The delegation also paid courtesy visits to key Government officials to further assess Sierra Leone’s readiness to foster aviation growth, paving the way for future collaborations and advancements in the Sierra Leone aviation sector.
The training, facilitated by ENAC, marks a significant step forward in enhancing Sierra Leone’s aviation capabilities.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here