The Ministry of Transport and Aviation of Sierra Leone hosted a delegation from the Gambia Civil Aviation Authority on Wednesday, September 20, 2023. The delegation was there to learn from Sierra Leone's experience in decoupling the regulatory and service provision functions of the aviation industry.
In his welcome address, Hindolo Shaka, Director of Transport, expressed gratitude to the delegation for their visit. He noted that Sierra Leone and the Gambia have a long history of cooperation in the transport sector, and that the aviation industry is vital to the economic growth and competitiveness of both countries.
Shaka then outlined the challenges, successes, and lessons learned from Sierra Leone's experience in negotiating and signing contracts with private companies on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) model for airport development.
Mawbail Jallow, Technical Advisor to the Project Team of the Gambia Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), emphasized the importance of the visit to the Sierra Leone Ministry of Transport and Aviation. He said that the Gambia Ministry of Transport, Works and Infrastructure has proposed decoupling the Gambia Civil Aviation Authority from the Airport Company.
Jallow reiterated that the purpose of the working visit is to learn about Sierra Leone's Airport Authority model and its transition to an Air Navigation Service Provider.
The delegation met with various officials from the Ministry of Transport and Aviation, the Sierra Leone Airport Authority, and the Civil Aviation Authority of Sierra Leone. They also visited the Lungi International Airport and the Freetown International Airport.
The delegation expressed appreciation for the warm welcome and the opportunity to learn from Sierra Leone's experience. They said that they will use the information they gathered to help the Gambia develop its own aviation sector.