CAA International (CAAi), the technical advisory arm of the UK CAA has completed both phases of aviation regulatory oversight improvements for the Sierra Leone Civil Aviation Authority (SLCAA), in air navigation services (ANS) and aerodromes and ground aids (AGA).

The overall project ran from May 2019 to February 2020 and was financed by the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) SAFE Fund.

Starting in May 2019, practising regulators from the UK CAA have worked with the SLCAA to understand the authority’s current maturity and provided recommendations to optimise the organisational design to meet present and future regulatory requirements.

Experts also completed a review of SLCAA’s existing legal and regulatory framework for the air navigation services and aerodromes and ground aids to enhance their safety oversight procedures and technical guidance materials for certification, licensing and regulator surveillance activities.

In line with the new procedures, UK CAA experts prepared a training framework for SLCAA’s inspectorate staff and delivered training for the current SLCAA inspectors. This included a two day workshop explaining the new regulations, manuals and guidance material and a five-day on-the-job training at Inverness Airport in Scotland.

In Phase two of the project, which was delivered in January 2020, CAAi assisted the SLCAA with planning for the implementation of the recommendations. Workshops were conducted on changes to the Regulations and providing guidance to the SLCAA and Industry on best practise in the areas of focus, ANS and AGA. An outcome from one of the collaborative working group sessions was a roadmap for delivery.

Suraj Parekh, Manager for International Operations at CAAi said: “It was our pleasure working with  SLCAA, and we look forward to continuing our support to them. We hope that our recommendations will help Sierra Leone meet the projected implementation targets for ANS  and AGA. This should lead  to further economic, social and cultural developments in the country.”

Sierra Leone is currently ranked 43rd out of 46 countries in the Regional Aviation Safety Group for Continental Africa for its effective implementation of ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices. The project will help SLCAA increase its effective implementation in the target areas identified, reaching closer to the Abuja safety target of 60%.

UK CAA representatives, Colin Hicks (Air Navigation Services) and Ian MacLaren (Air Worthiness) with SLCAA senior management and support staff.

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