By Amin Kef Sesay
A British-oriented company, Westminster Group, operating the ground handling at the Lungi International Airport, is now putting modalities in place, having purchased a 12,000 Euros advanced sanitizing tunnel system which will be donated to the airport to ensure that all passengers arriving go through this system with their luggage to prevent them from entering the country with the coronavirus.
It could be recalled that in his address to the nation on the 9th July 2020 President Julius Maada Bio announced that the airport will reopen on the 22nd July 2020.
As a result of the fact that there is lack of flights coming to Sierra Leone the tunnel is expected in the next two weeks at the Lungi airport where it will be installed to start operation.
Musayeroh Barrie, who is the Operations Director of Westminster Group intimated that the airport is like many other airports that have been closed since the end of March 2020, resulting in challenges for the country and a collapse of revenue for their own business operations in Sierra Leone.
She furthered that because Westminster is ready to start operations, they are proud to state, however, that they have maintained full employment of all their local staff during this challenging time. “Over the past few weeks, a series of consultations have been held with the relevant authorities to discuss what pertinent measures would be needed at the airport for it to resume commercial operations,” she revealed and continued that as a global company they have been working with various airport authorities and other organizations around the world to address the difficult process of getting companies back to work and in particular to enable airports worldwide to safely resume operations.
“Part of our “back to work” initiative has been to provide airports with advanced fever detection and sanitization technologies that can be effectively deployed into airport terminals and infrastructure, and one such initiative is an advanced sanitizing tunnel system, which delivers 360-degree sanitization of people, baggage and trolleys etc. passing through it and we feel that this particular technology would assist the Government of Sierra Leone (GoSL) in their efforts to reopen the Freetown Airport to international passengers.,” Miss Barrie highlighted further intimating how the Westminster Aviation Security Services Ltd have been working with the Government since 2012 and they consider themselves to be part of the Freetown “family” and are therefore pleased to support the Ministry of Transport and Government in the provision of one of these advanced tunnels amongst other initiatives they are already undertaking.
The Operations Director said during this period, they kept all staff and even supported them and the community with food during the trying times and they have been making sure that the emergency flights that have been landing in Freetown have been treated well and given all the services available.
She pointed out that the flights will start coming in gradually as many countries are still fighting the virus with high numbers of infected people.
“We believe that so long as the airport is open it will give the business people the opportunity to return and others to come and rest because the cases in the country are not as bad as other areas,” she expressed hope.
Miss Barrie called Sierra Leoneans to continue to stay safe and follow all the instructions laid down by the health officials so that the country can break the chain and end the transmission as soon as possible.