Italy’s Civil Aviation Authority, led by President Pierlugu Umberto, recently concluded a momentous visit to Sierra Leone, solidifying the initial Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) inked in Riyadh during the ICAN summit in December 2023, between the Aviation Authorities of Sierra Leone and Italy.

On March 22, 2024, Director General Musayeroh Barrie and her team orchestrated the delegation’s visit to State House for a courtesy call and the historic signing of the Air Service Agreement between the two nations.

Presenting the delegation to the Chief Minister, Madam Barrie highlighted the significant strides made in cooperation between the countries. She elaborated, “I am pleased to inform you that we have made significant steps in the cooperation between our two states covering Air Transport between Italy and Sierra Leone, as well as Technical Assistance with the EU Safety Commission regarding the removal of Sierra Leone from the EU Safety List “Blacklist”. Sierra Leone is also keen to play a central role in the production and distribution of Sustainable Aviation Fuel.”

Welcoming the delegation to the Statehouse, the Chief Minister expressed his inspiration and excitement, assuring them of the government’s steadfast support in propelling Sierra Leone’s aviation industry forward. He underscored the significance of bilateral relations, stating, “Sierra Leone is taking significant steps to align across the globe with great friends, and our bilateral relation is what strengthens us to achieve the outcomes we wish to achieve.”

President Pierlugu Umberto of Italy’s Civil Aviation (ENAC) emphasized the mutual benefits envisioned for both nations, affirming their commitment to facilitating Sierra Leone’s integration into international airspace and aiding its removal from the European Union’s safety blacklist. He asserted the feasibility of their endeavors, citing their presence in Sierra Leone as a tangible manifestation of their dedication to implementing the agreement.

Deputy Minister of Transport and Aviation, Mr. Rex Bhonapha, expressed gratitude for the delegation’s visit, anticipating concrete steps towards realizing the socio-economic benefits envisaged by the agreement.

Prior to the Statehouse visit and signing, the delegation paid a courtesy call on the Vice President, who warmly welcomed them, stressing Sierra Leone’s readiness to nurture aviation growth.

The Vice President commended Director General Barrie and her team for their commitment to advancing President Bio’s vision, aimed at unlocking new opportunities for tourism, trade, and a more prosperous future.

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