Developing an ICAO compliant legal and regulatory framework in Sierra Leone

Recommendations and implementation assistance on a new ICAO compliant legal and regulatory framework in air navigation services (ANS) and aerodrome and ground aids (AGA).

In July 2012, the African Ministers responsible for civil aviation adopted the Abuja Declaration on Aviation Safety. This declaration was reviewed in December 2017 and set aviation safety milestones for African ICAO member States. All States are expected to comply with all the Abuja safety targets. One of the requirements is for the States to progressively increase the rate of Effective Implementation (EI) under the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Universal Safety Oversight Audit Program (USOAP). States that are currently achieving less than 60% EI must increase the percentage to 60% by 2020. To help Sierra Leone Civil Aviation Authority (SLCAA) improve its effective implementation in organisation (ORG), air navigation services (ANS) and aerodromes and ground aid (AGA), ICAO, following an international tendering exercise, appointed CAAi to support SLCAA with regulatory oversight programme. The project was launched under ICAO’s No Country Left Behind initiative, financed under ICAO’s SAFE fund.


ICAO audited Sierra Leone in 2015 and reported 30% EI for organisation (ORG), 33.9% EI for air navigation services (ANS) and 16.06% EI for aerodromes and ground aid (AGA). The objective of this project was to help SLCAA to improve their EI to meet the Abuja target of 60% in ORG, ANS and AGA.


In May 2019, regulatory experts from CAAi worked with the SLCAA and ICAO (Western & Central Africa Office) to understand the authority’s capability and challenges. CAAi then provided recommendations and implementation deliverables to support the organisational design and sustainability of the SLCAA to address present and future regulatory oversight requirements.

Experts reviewed SLCAA’s existing legal and regulatory framework in the ANS and AGA safety areas, with the objective to enhance SLCAA safety oversight procedures and technical guidance materials for certification, licensing and regulator surveillance activities.

In line with the new procedures, CAAi experts prepared a training programme for SLCAA’s inspectorate staff. This included a two-day workshop explaining the new regulations, manuals and guidance material and a five-day on-the-job training held at Inverness Airport, Scotland, allowing inspectors to augment their learning.

In Phase two of the project, CAAi assisted the SLCAA with planning for the implementation of the recommendations. Workshops were conducted on changes to the Regulations and guidance was provided to the SLCAA and industry on the best practice in the areas of ANS and AGA. The collaborative working group established a roadmap for delivery.


The project was completed in March 2020 and helped establish an autonomous CAA organisational structure covering the scope of the State’s safety oversight responsibilities with an emphasis on AGA and ANS. CAAi experts provided the SLCAA with a legal and regulatory framework, compliant with the ICAO SARPs (for the critical elements 1 and 2). Under ICAO requirements, an effective certification, licensing and surveillance capability was established in the area of AGA and ANS. A training framework was created and implemented, helping the SLCAA strengthen the capacity of the national technical staff to carry out their safety oversight responsibilities in AGA and ANS. Upon the completion of all activities, all USOAP related information was uploaded onto ICAO Continuous Monitoring Assessment (CMA) Online Framework including the latest Corrective Action Plan to enable ICAO to conduct an assessment through the CMA.

For more information on our legal and regulatory assistance to  National Aviation Authorities, please contact Liam.Byrne@caa.co.uk

Key Achievements
  • Autonomous CAA organisational structure
  • ICAO compliant legal and regulatory framework
  • ICAO compliant certification, licensing and surveillance capability
  • USOAP related information uploaded onto ICAO CMA Online Framework including the latest Corrective Action Plan enabling ICAO to conduct an assessment through the CMA
Client Feedback

“ICAO wishes to express its thanks and gratitude on this occasion for the excellent results of this project, and we look forward to future opportunities to collaborate with CAA International.” Jorge Vargas, Director Technical Cooperation Bureau

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