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Reading: Sierra Leone and Italy Forge Historic Bilateral Agreement
Reading: Sierra Leone and Italy Forge Historic Bilateral Agreement

Sierra Leone and Italy Forge Historic Bilateral Agreement

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Sierra Leone and Italy Forge Historic Bilateral Agreement
Sierra Leone and Italy Forge Historic Bilateral Agreement

Sierra Leone’s aviation sector soared to new heights as it sealed a pivotal Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) with Italy.

Italy’s Civil Aviation Authority, under the leadership of President Pierlugu Umberto, recently concluded a landmark visit to Sierra Leone, solidifying bilateral cooperation in the aviation sector. The visit culminated in the signing of a momentous Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) and Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at State House in Freetown on March 22, 2024.

The foundation for this historic event was laid during the ICAN summit in Riyadh in December 2023, where initial discussions between the Aviation Authorities of Sierra Leone and Italy led to the agreement’s inception.

Led by Director General Musayeroh Barrie and her team, the Italian delegation was welcomed at State House for a courtesy call and the official signing ceremony. During the meeting, Director General Barrie highlighted the significant progress made in cooperation between the two nations, emphasizing the agreement’s scope, which includes air transport services between Italy and Sierra Leone, technical assistance from the EU Safety Commission to remove Sierra Leone from the EU Safety List “Blacklist,” and collaboration in the production and distribution of Sustainable Aviation Fuel.

In response, the Chief Minister of Sierra Leone expressed enthusiasm and pledged unwavering government support for advancing the country’s aviation industry. He underscored the importance of bilateral relations in achieving mutual goals, emphasizing Sierra Leone’s commitment to aligning itself with global partners for socio-economic development.

President Pierlugu Umberto of Italy’s Civil Aviation Authority (ENAC) reiterated the shared benefits envisaged by the agreements, emphasizing Italy’s commitment to supporting Sierra Leone’s integration into international airspace and aiding its removal from the European Union’s safety blacklist. He emphasized the feasibility of their joint efforts and reaffirmed Italy’s dedication to implementing the agreement.

The Deputy Minister of Transport and Aviation, Mr. Rex Bhonapha, expressed gratitude for the delegation’s visit, anticipating tangible progress toward unlocking the socio-economic benefits envisioned by the agreements.

Before the State House visit, the delegation also met with the Vice President, who lauded Director General Barrie and her team for their dedication to advancing President Bio’s vision for aviation growth. The Vice President emphasized Sierra Leone’s readiness to foster a thriving aviation sector, which promises to unlock new opportunities for tourism, trade, and overall prosperity in the country.

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