The Director-General of the Sierra Leone Civil Aviation Authority (SLCAA) Moses Tiffa Baio in an exclusive interview with Salone Jamboree has revealed that Sierra Leone would reopen its airspace to commercial flights as part of steps taken to re-open institutions and businesses across the world amidst the pandemic.
In easing some of the restrictions, President Maada Bio few weeks ago announced that the Freetown International Airport at Lungi would be reopened to air traffic Wednesday the 22nd July. The first expected incoming flights will be the Turkish Airlines, Air France and Brussels Airlines.
All passengers will be required to fill in a prior travelling application form online at https://www.travel.gov.sl/ that will require mandatory Covid-19 testing upon arrival and departure. The process according to Tiffa Baio will cost around SLL 500,000 at a designated testing centre.
Moses Tiffa Baio opined that the reopening of the airport would greatly help revive the economy. “This will help the government in terms of revenue collection in the form of taxes and will also revive the tourism industry. It help will keep our economy alive by as hotels, tour operators, restaurants and even taxi and okada riders will soon become engaged”.
Sierra Leone closed its airspace about four months ago due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic and it has greatly affected the tourism industry leading to the closure of hotels and laying off of staffs. It has also cost the entertainment industry over billions of Leones in losses due to the cancellation of many planned international and local entertainment concerts