Addressing journalists at the Aviation conference room, Siaka Stevens Street in Freetown, Mr. Jalloh explained that despite the safety and security compliance of Sierra Leone’s aviation industry being at 20%, which is far below the Abuja Safety Target, the initial steps taken by the SLCAA and political support from the government, there is a potential for the sector to hit the 60% minimal target by 2020.
Mr. Jallow added that air transportation plays a significant role in boosting a country’s economy as it provides employment opportunities and contributes to the country’s GDP. But those opportunities he added can only be achieved by promoting economic and vibrant sectors such as tourism, agriculture, trade and aviation. He encouraged the government to consider the aviation industry as a priority and provide meaningful support and ratify outstanding legal instruments to make it attractive as that will lure investors to travel to the country.
The Director General of SLCAA, Moses Tiffa Baio said President Julius Maada Bio has given his commitment to give a facelift to the aviation industry and that his commitment remains intact.
He added that despite the impressive operations of international flights to the country, the Lungi International airport is yet to be certified which makes travelers and flight operators pay high costs on insurance before traveling to Sierra Leone.
He noted that the aviation industry is one that is driven by perception and if the right thing is not done, travelers will always be doubtful about the country.
On the issue of statistics, Mr. Baio said safety, security and economic statistics are major information that every airport should provide to ensure that travelers have a clear knowledge about the country. He promised to do everything to make such information about Sierra Leone’s aviation safety and security is made available to ICAO and other relevant institutions.