The Sierra Leone Airports Authority (SLAA) being a corporate body was established by Act. No. 8 of the Sierra Leone Parliament in 1988. It is mandated to provide aviation services such as airport operations and air navigation for air transportation at the Freetown International Airport (FNA), which is located in Lungi and Hastings Airfield in Freetown. In fulfillment of its mandate, The SLAA carried out a number of activities within 2015 to provide safe, secured and quality services to the aviation industry as its contribution to national economic growth and development.
However, the organization suffered a major shock in its revenue generation due to the outbreak of the Ebola Virus disease (EVD) in the country in March 2014. The EVD outbreak caused the suspension of the operations of six out of the nine airlines (51.2% decreased in scheduled aircraft movement) and also resulted in a 35.3% decreased in passenger throughput with a corresponding decrease of 44.3% of revenue generated from passenger throughput. The organization realized a financial loss of Le 5bn in 2015 with reference to its budgeted revenue.
The huge reduction in the revenues generated during 2014 and 2015 financial years vastly undermined the capacity of SLAA to undertake major investment and seriously created a financial gap in SLAA to meet its administrative, operational and corporate expenses. However, essential operational and maintenance activities and training costs were prioritized to sustain airport operations so as to enable air transportation of relief resources for the fight against the EVD.
With the exception of the Perimeter Fence Project, which is fully funded by The World Bank through the National Ebola Response Committee, Management was unable to initiate any new capital intensive project at the airport during 2015, a few projects that were earlier initiated continued during the period. These includes; New Cargo Building Project and the Administrative Car Park Project. The Admin Car Park Project was successfully completed in 2015, while the New Cargo Terminal is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2016.
Amidst the turbulent period of the EVD outbreak, a change in the stewardship of the organization took place alongside a number of top management positions. The new appointments are as follows;
S. A. Swarray-Deen General Manager
I. N. Fofana Deputy General Manager
O. M. Bah Head of Engineering & Maintenance
M. A. Lamin Chief radio and Telecommunications Engineer
A. Baraka Chief Electro-Mechanical Engineer
S. S. Gando Senior Radio Engineer
However, disciplinary action was meted out to eight (8) staff members for various offences as stipulated in the terms and conditions of service and the code of discipline of the organization. Three (3) staff members were dismissed and the services of one (1) terminated after an investigation conducted by management found the staff culpable in payroll malpractices. Four (4) staff members were also interdicted for various other offences that are being investigated by Management. A total of five staff members retired from the organization on achieving the retirement age of 60 and a total of four staff members resigned from their various posts.
The declaration of the end of the EVD outbreak in 2015 has ushered in the resumption of two of the six airlines that suspended operations and the start of a new airline operation flying the country’s national colours. Management is therefore poised to redouble its efforts and commitment in pursuing essential airport development projects so as to enhance seamless airport operations.
However, Management faces challenges that require the support of all key stakeholders. These challenges range from the need to replace obsolete equipment, improvement of the firefighting equipment, capacity building, revenue maximization and the financial burden of the SLCAA Act on SLAA. The support of the Board of Directors, the Ministry of Transport and Aviation, The National Commission of Privatization and other key stakeholders is therefore very vital for the realization of management’s aspirations.
The Sierra Leone Airports Authority (SLAA) being a corporate body established by Act. No. 8 of the Sierra Leone Parliament in 1988 is mandated to provide aviation services such as airport operations and air navigation for air transportation at the Freetown International Airport (FNA) located in Lungi and Hastings Airfield in Freetown.
Being a corporate public enterprise and wholly owned by the Government of Sierra Leone (GOSL), the SLAA has the mandate to generate revenues from the aviation services it provides and to also expend from the revenue generated to meet its administrative, operations and corporate objectives.
The SLAA undertook a number of activities within its mandate to provide adequately safe, secured and quality services to the aviation industry as a way of meaningfully contributing to national economic growth and development.
However, the organization suffered a major shock in its revenue generation due to the outbreak of the Ebola Virus disease (EVD) in the country in March 2014. The EVD outbreak orchestrated the cessation of operations of six out of the nine airlines operating into FNA before the outbreak of EVD. Passenger throughput also dwindled resulting to 44.3% reduction in passenger throughput and 51.2% reduction in schedule aircraft movement due to the isolation of the country by the rest of the world.
The huge reduction in the revenues generated during 2014 and 2015 financial years vastly undermined the capacity of SLAA to undertake major investments and seriously created a financial gap in SLAA to meet its administrative, operational and corporate expenses. However, vital operational costs were prioritized amidst scarce revenues to sustain the operations of the only international airport in the country, through which 90% of the relief resources for the fight against the EVD were transported into the country.
The 2015 Annual Corporate Report is meant to provide an overview of the activities undertaken by SLAA in terms of its administration, operation, revenue generation and the overall financial position of the authority from which the government and other key stakeholders will be able to assess and evaluate the overall performance of the organization for the period under review.
The report also includes the Authority’s achievements, constrains and challenges for the period under review.
The start of 2015 witnessed a change in the occupancy of the post of General Manager with the retirement of Mr. John S. A. Sesay. The Deputy General Manager then, Mr. S. A. Swarray-Deen acted in the position of General Manager for a period of 10 months and with the wisdom of the Board of Directors, he was subsequently confirmed into the position on November 16, 2015.
The position of Deputy General Manager was also filled by the Head of Engineering and Maintenance, Mr. I. N. Fofana. Subsequently, various other top management positions were filled as a result of the internal absorption of staff into the positions of general manager and deputy general manager respectively. The Chief Radio and Telecommunications Engineer, Mr. o. M. Bah was appointed into head of engineering & Maintenance, The Senior Radio Engineer, Mr. M. A. Lamin was appointed to the position of Chief Radio and Telecommunications Engineer and the Radio Engineer, Mr. S.S. Gando was appointed to the position of Senior Radio Engineer.
The position of Chief Electro-Mechanical Engineer which was made vacant due to the retirement of Mr. Moses Fatoma was filled by the Senior Electrical Engineer, Mr. A. Baraka.
As at the 31st December, 2015, the organizations staff strength at both FNA and Hastings Airfield is 496 and 34 contract staff.
2.2 Disciplinary Actions
The services of the following staff were dismissed or terminated after an investigation conducted by management found them culpable on various activities relating to defrauding the organization.
Name of Staff Designation Action
Jonathan Massaquoi Accounts Clerk Dismissed
Alimamy Sesay Aviation Fire Fighter Dismissed
Mohamed S. Sesay Aviation Fire Fighter Dismissed
Mohamed Turay Mechanic Terminated
The following staffs are currently on interdiction pending the necessary disciplinary action for various offences.
Name of Staff Designation
Alfred H. Barnett Safety & Compliance Officer
Mamudu Koroma Deputy Chief Aerodrome Officer
Minkailu M. Jalloh Training Officer II
Ibrahim F. H. Sumah Senior Fire prevention Officer
The following staff retired from active services during 2015 financial year.
Name of Staff Designation Date of Retirement
A T Bundu Fireman Driver 10 - 01 - 15
Abu Kamara Cleaner Admin 22 - 01 - 15
Idrissa unu Foreman (Civil 03 - 02 - 15
Rupert O. Doherty Wildlife& Environmental 24 - 09 - 15
Komrabai Koroma Foreman Civil 05 - 10 - 15
The following staff resigned from their various positions during the 2015 financial year.
Name of Staff Designation Date of Resignation
Alhaji Kannah Environmental Officer 7 - 03 - 15
Mohamed Alhaji Bangura Comm. Assistant 17 - 05 - 15
Alice Johnson AIS Officer 25 - 09 - 15
Sheka Z. Tarawally Accounts Supervisor 21 - 10 - 15
A total of six staffs were lost by the organization through deaths during 2015.
Name of Staff Designation Date of Death
Victor Kallon Cleaner 19 - 02 - 15
Bobson A. Largo Jr. Expenditure Accountant 08 - 03 - 15
Mohamed D. Bangura Fire and Rescue 06 - 07 - 15
John J. Demby PEO 24 - 07 - 15
Alusine Kamara Electrical Attendant 11 - 08 - 15
Mariama Seray Wurie - Safety & Compliance 12 - 09 - 15
2.6 Land/Property Encroachment
The year 2015 witnessed heightened encroachment on SLAA’s property at Hastings Airfield, while minimal encroachment was realized at Lungi. The heightened encroachment at Hastings and the intention of the Ministry of Lands and Country Planning threatened the existence of Hastings Airfield as the Ministry was determined to closed the operations of the Airfield and convert all Hastings Airfield property into non-aviation activities.
The intention of the Ministry of Lands and Country Planning in converting the use of SLAA’s property at Hastings for non-aviation activities culminated into a fact finding visit by H. E. President Koroma after various other visits conducted by both the Parliamentary Oversight Committees on Transport/Aviation and Lands and the SLAA’s Board of Directors. The fact finding visits resulted in thwarting the intention of the ministry of Lands and further mandated SLAA to do all it can within its capacity to reclaimed all property encroached upon at Hastings Airfield.
3.1 Existing/Suspended Flight Operations
The outbreak of EVD orchestrated the cessation of the operations of seven flights out of the nine that were operating into FNA before the outbreak of EVD on 24 March 2014. However, the only two flights that operated during the EVD outbreak are Brussels Airlines and Royal Air Maroc. Air Cote D’ Voire briefly suspended operations but resumed during the EVD outbreak.
The following flights resumed operations on the various dates indicated against the flight’s names.
Flight Resumption Date
Air Cote D’ Ivoire 27 October, 2014
Kenya Airways 02 June, 2015
Air France/KLM 30 June, 2015
The other flights that were operating into FNA before the EVD outbreak and which have so far not resumed operations are; British Airways, Gambia Bird, Asky Airlines and Arik Airlines. Though Arik Airlines Station Manager held a meeting with SLAA Management in November 2015 indicating their preparedness to resumed operations in mid December, 2015, we are still waiting to see the resumption of their flight into FNA.
3.2 New Flight Operations
FNA realized the start of the operations of Fly Salone, a based airline flying the national colours of the country. The inaugural flight flew in from London Gatwick on 12 December, 2015. Fly Salone is currently conducting four weekly direct flight operations from FNA to London Gatwick.
3.3 Air Navigation Services
(i) Air Traffic Control
The Air Traffic Control undertook a number of activities geared towards the provision of safe maneuvering of aircrafts within our national airspace and the safe landings and takeoffs at FNA and Hastings Airfield In fulfillment of the above, the Significant Safety Concern (SSC) registered by the International Civil Aviation organization (ICAO) during the International Coordinated and Validated Mission relating to Personnel License has been successful resolved with the training certification of 8 Air Traffic Controllers by the SLCAA .
Other activities undertaken by the ATC includes the following;
- The Re- training of two controllers in Egypt.
- The English proficiency course done by the SATCO and Tower Supervisor in Ghana.
- Training of two Air Traffic Assistants Controllers in China.
(ii) Aeronautical Information Management(AIM)
Two staff from the AIM received training from the East African School of Aviation. The training has boost the capacity of the department to full function in compliance with ICAO standards and recommended practices.
3.4 Fire and Rescue Services (RFFS)
During the period under review the RFFS continued to maintain Category 8 level of protection. The deficiency in the reserved level of foam concentrate that was a long standing issue since 2006 was finally resolved by the procurement of 7200 litres of foam concentrate to meet level B of Category 8 fire cover.
The National Fire Fighting is still part of the serviceable vehicle boosting up the fleet so as to maintain category 8.
Some personnel have been withdrawn from the RFF in Lungi and deployed to Hastings Airfield to augment the operations Hastings Airfield.
3.5 Safety and Compliance Management
The safety and Compliance department conducted a number of activities in compliance with ICAO standards and recommended practices. This included the following;
- Investigation of alleged pilfering
- Vulnerability assessment of the Aerodrome
- Aerodrome Status Report
- Daily/ Routine Inspection
3.6 Wildlife and Environmental Management
The department during the period under review had conducted a number of activities in compliance with ICAO standards and recommended practices as out lined in Annex 16. The department successfully accomplished the following.
- Waste Management.
- Runway sweeping to remove FODs.
- Poisoning of wildlife e.g. stray dogs within the precinct of the airport.
- Cutting of trees around the perimeter.
- Accomplished training from the Environment Protection Agency
4 Commercial/Revenue Generation Activities
A. Aeronautical Activities
The commercial or revenue generation activities in terms scheduled passenger aircrafts and passenger numbers were greatly negatively impacted by the EVD outbreak which resulted in the suspension of six out of the nine aircrafts that were operating into FNA and also caused the isolation of the country from the rest of the world, thereby preventing air travelers from visiting the country.
4.1 Aircraft Movement
A comparative analysis of total scheduled aircraft movement before the outbreak of EVD in 2013 saw a total reduction in scheduled aircraft movements from 2,367 movements in 2013 to 1,806 movements in 2014 and subsequently 1,155 movements in 2015, a 51.2% reduction in scheduled aircraft movements in 2015 using 2013 as the base year. Please see Appendix 1; Air Traffic Statistics.
Conversely an increased was realized in non-scheduled aircraft movement in the same years of comparison from 636 movements in 2013 to 1399 movements in 2014 and subsequently 1,741 movements in 2015. The increase in non-scheduled aircraft movement was basically due to the rapid supply of relief items in response to the EVD outbreak. However, no positive revenue generation was realized from the increase in non-schedule aircraft movement due to various waivers issued to Ministry of Health and Sanitation and other Governmental agencies.
4.2 Passenger Throughput
A comparative analysis of passenger throughput using the same scenario as in 3.1 above realized a reduction in total passenger figures from 228,434 (Embarked: 111,130, Disembarked: 114,272; Transit: 3,032) in 2013 to 198,673 (Embarked: 93,457 Disembarked: 77,299, Transit; 27,917) in 2014 and 147,697 (Embarked: 61,902, Disembarked: 68,918, Transit: 16,877) in 2015. A 35.3% decrease in total passenger figures in 2015 using 2013 as base year and 44.3% decreased in revenue from passenger throughput. It is vital to note that revenue is generated only from embarked passengers. Please see Appendix 1; Air traffic Statistics.
4.3 Cargo/Freight and Mails
Cargo/Fright activities especially un-laden freight realized and sharp increased from 2013(4,645,173 tons) to (9,621,001 tons) in 2014 and then a decreased in 2015 (4,688,113 tons). The sharp increase in 2014 was attributed to supply of relief items in response to the EVD outbreak. The mails activities realized a decreased from 48,502,8tons in 2013 to 31,053.8 tons in 2014 and subsequently to 30,618.9 tons in 2015. A 36.9% decrease in 2015 using 2013 as base year. Please see Annex 1; Air Traffic Statistics.
B. Non Aeronautical Activities
Revenues from non-aeronautical activities for the period under review were adversely affected by the low numbers of passengers that went through the airport due to the EVD outbreak. The capacity of Concessionaires to pay concession fees and other airport utilities charges to SLAA was negatively impacted because business activities of the Concessionaires slowed down and some concessionaires closed down business during the period since they could not sustain their business activities.
5.0 Financial Statement
Sierra Leone Airports Authority experienced a drastic drop in its financial performance over the 2014 and 2015 planned period. Due to the devastating impact of the Ebola crisis, more that 50% of major airlines ceased operations leading to a huge fall in revenue. Expected actual revenue as at 31st December 2015 amounted to Le: 32bn as against budgeted revenue of Le58bn.
Notwithstanding the fall in revenue, the airport was providing, in addition to the full normal complimentary services, additional measures that kept the Ebola Virus Disease at bay. That scenario led to a huge cost incurred by the Authority in spite of the fall in revenue. The expected expenses at the end of the year amounted to le37bn leading to a loss of Le 5bn.
The asset base of the Authority increased to le104bn with shareholder’s funds reduced by le5bn. Total creditors (comprising of staff and other third parties) commitments amounted to Le19bn.
The Authority continues to experience cash flow problems. Huge staff commitments for 2015 are stiff outstanding with payment to NRA and NASSIT posing serious embarrassment for the institution. Retirement benefits and other staff benefits continue to increase not withstanding effort made to address them. The projected income and expenditure statement including the project balance sheet and statements of cash flows are attached as Appendix 2.
5.0 Major Projects Undertaken in 2015
During the period under review the Authority undertook the following projects:
5.1 Terminal Building Rehabilitation Project
This project was 100% funded by the Government of Sierra Leone for the 50th Anniversary celebrations. It was completed in Mid-2015 but yet to be commissioned. In spite of the fact that it is now fully functional, the Contractor has still not addressed the leaking roof in the snag list provided by the supervising consultants.
5.2 New Cargo Building project
This project is 100% funded by Sky Handling Partner S/L Limited, the concessionaire providing Ground Handling services at the Freetown International Airport. The project was about 95% complete at as end of December 2015. When completed it will have the potential to boost exports and transform the Freetown International Airport into a hub for the transshipment of cargo within the sub- region.
5.3 Airport Perimeter Fence Project
The procurement process was completed in the last quarter of 2015 and contract was awarded to C&S Construction Company who had mobilised and construction works were about 30% complete as at end of December 2015. This project was funded by the World Bank through NERC at a total project cost of $500.000 to cover both the inner and outer perimeter fence projects.
5.4 Construction of Administrative Car Park
This project was initiated in 2014 and completed in the second quarter of 2015. The provision of this car park facility tremendously eased the problems faced by staff in parking their vehicles at the Airport and also improved on the landside façade.
5.5 Ebola Virus Disease Eradication Project
SLAA collaborated with IOM, NERC, and other health and security agencies at the Airport to fight against the epidemic. No known case of a passenger with the virus was reported during the period under review.
5.6 Performance Management Contract
SLAA successfully conducted the performance management contract for 2015 involving quarterly submission of reports in respect of:
Performance Tracking Table (PTT)
5.7 Procurement Related Projects
During the reporting period, the Authority initiated the procurement process for the following:
- Underground cables
- Fire engine
- Consultancy for the Terminal Building Roof
The procurement processes for all four (4) projects were in advanced stage but suspended on account of funding limitations.
6.0 Procurement and Corporate Activities
A number of procurement activities were initiated during 2015 to encourage private partnership in the delivery of services at the airport. The rationale of concessioning the service is to maximize revenue from the services while optimizing the quality of the services delivered. Corporate social responsibility – in the exercise of its corporate social responsibility and promoting peaceful core existence with its local community SLAA had on sustained basis provided scholarships to students in universities, colleges and secondary schools, supporting and promoting the local community, administration and institutions in various forms, assisting in alleviation of youth unemployment in Kaffu Bullom Chiefdom and the entire country.
7.0 Challenges, Constraints and Concerns
During the 2015 reporting period SLAA encountered the following challenges.
The devastating impact of the EVD epidemic caused the suspension of flights and a decrease in passenger volumes incapacitated the revenue generating potentials to finance major Airports development projects and other statutory commitments.
7.2 Staff Number and Associated Staff Cost
The current staff number and associated cost is a huge challenge. The current staff number of 496 is very high and is not required for the effective manning of the organization. This has created a Hugh financial burden on the revenue generated and has substantially increased the total wage bill in comparison to 2013 before the employment of an additional staff of 286.
SLAA continues to suffer from the withholding of its monies by agencies and concessionaires operating at the airport. The total amount owed by all agencies and concessionaires as at 31st December, 2015 is in the tune of approximately Le 2bn. Despite Managements efforts to collect this monies from the debtors, political interference and the absence of the mandate to implement appropriate sanctions to debtors continues to be a major challenge in effective collection of debts owed to SLAA.
7.4 Payment to SLCAA relating to SLCAA Act.
SLAA continues to face a hug challenge in the payment of its revenue to SLCAA as stipulated in the SLCAA Act. Despite several efforts have been made and are still being made for a repeal of the sections of the SLCAA Act. That requires SLAA to part with 30% of its revenues from Passenger Service Charge, 20% of revenues from aircraft landings and 10% of…..The full implementation of the section of SLCAA act. will incapacitate SLAA to meets its operational and administrative cost and subsequently meets its corporate objectives in the management of FNA.
7.5 High Cost Electricity/Water supply
The high cost of electricity supplied by EDSA is currently is one of the serious operational cost to SLAA. Despite several appeals for EDSA to implement a domestic electricity tarrif to the airport, EDSA continues to charge an industrial tariff. Besides, it only supplies electricity to the Airport and community for 12hours and the provision of electricity for the remaining 12 hours is being done by the Authority at a colossal cost. The provision of water by SALWACO is also very costly in the absence of pipe borne water supply at the normal water tariff..
7.6 Absence of Stores Facility
The authority currently has no adequate stores facility to accommodate bulk purchase of common used items, spare parts and other essentials to mitigate an emergency situation much to the benefit to the organisation.
7.7 Government Waiver Directives
Government waiver directives particularly during the Hajj movement, UN and other government related operations deprive SLAA of the much needed revenue to sustain airport operations.
7.8 Replacement Of Outdated Operational Equipment
The existing carousels and underground cables are not only too old but more often than not unserviceable. There is also a complete absence of a sea rescue craft to mitigate Aircraft emergencies at sea and one additional fire engine is also needed to improve on the Airport’s fire category to the required level.
The EVD outbreak created huge financial shocks that undermine the financial capacity of organization to undertake crucial planned projects in 2015 in furtherance of the development of FNA. Albeit the limited finances generated as revenue within the period, management was able to stem the activities of the organization during the period in compliance with ICAO standards and recommended practices and SLCAA regulations in fulfillment of the organization’s mandate.
Noting that the outbreak has been officially ended, normal airport activities are slowly gearing up with the return of two schedule flights and the introduction of a new operator. Management is therefore poised to redouble its efforts and commitment in pursuing essential airport development projects so as to enhance seamless airport operations. In achievement of airport development and enable SLAA fulfills it mandate, Management solicits the support of the Board of Directors, The NCP, The Ministry of Transport and Aviation and all other stakeholders in addressing the challenges, constraints and concerns expressed in this report and to also favour management with the required guidance in enhancing airport development.
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