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Global transformation of Sierra Leone

11 November 2020 at 21:19 | 1129 views

Global transformation of Sierra Leone under the Chairman, Presidential Presidential Infrastructure Initiative (OPII), Office of the President

By Muctaru T. Kamara, Freetown

The existing airport terminal was upgraded a few years ago but unfortunately the current facilities are inadequate to meet future passenger demands. The entire air traffic industry is virtually dormant and the lack of a resident airline and difficult connectivity have made air travel restricted to only Sierra Leonean passengers and a few passengers who have no choice but to come to Sierra Leone.

In spite of its vast tourist potentials, Sierra Leone has yet to exploit this industry
primarily because of the lack of the requisite infrastructure facilities and limited air transport service to Sierra Leone.

The proposal for a new airport terminal is prompted by the need to maximize Sierra Leone’s geographic location advantage, unlock its vast tourist potentials, increase air transport services and promote the aviation industry, and most importantly establish Sierra Leone as a regional hub for both passenger and cargo traffic, taking advantage of the proposed transshipment industries and International Free Trade Zone to be established at Lungi close to the airport. Sierra Leone has the shortest distance from Africa to South America. Sierra Leone was a hub and staging area for the British Government during the Second World War and during the Falklands War.

The travel time from Sierra Leone to most destinations in Europe is about six hours. Sierra Leone provides a regional fit for air transport to/from West and Central Africa, as a result it could play the role of a transit hub for destinations such as the Far East and China. Currently there are no direct flights from West and Central Africa to these destinations. For example, flights to China from Africa are either through Addis Ababa, Ethiopia or Nairobi, Kenya. Sierra Leone is uniquely situated to play this role; as a major transit hub for destinations to China and South America.

Against this background, the Proposal will require the construction, management and operation of a modern airport terminal with a capacity of 1million passenger per year. The Project will entail the following: The construction of a new Passenger Terminal

- The Construction of a new VIP and Presidential Terminal
- The Construction of a new Air Traffic Control Tower with offices. The construction of a new Search and Rescue and Fire Fighting Facility. The construction of a new parallel taxiway (parallel to the existing runway)
- The refurbishment and resealing of the existing runway.
- The installation of the requisite navigational aids.
- At the end of this Project, we will have a brand new state of the art international airport at Lungi

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