SLENA, 14th April, 2022 – The Aviation industry has its comprehensive formal security measures available at State and Airport levels. Sierra Leone has made tremendous strides and continues to sparkle in Aviation security with the recent International Civil Aviation Audit which ranked the country 71%. One can adequately deduce that both the Civil Aviation leadership of the Director-General, Moses Tiffa Baio and Airport Authority Management General Manager Jack DK Massaquoi have built best practices and achieved the keys to developing, implementing, and sustaining aviation security principles.
In complementing and advancing these gains, the Sierra Leone Women in Aviation, on Wednesday 6th April 2022, held a one-day Security Culture workshop at the SLCAA Conference Room for female staff working at the various units at the airport.
With the Airport having Women from different organizations, working in a security-controlled environment they must continue to reaffirm the set of norms, beliefs, values and attitudes that must be inherent in the daily operations, reflected in their actions and behaviours. The workshop aimed at conceptualising and visualising security as a shared priority that should be reinforced and expanded to cadres of individuals, enabling the identification of suspicious behaviours and reporting them for action; making them the eyes and ears of the airport.
Speaking at the event, the General Manager of the Airports Authority, Mr. Jack Massaquoi, appreciated the women in aviation engagement and their quest to run with the vision that the industry is instilling. He recognized that effective security culture was critical to the organization’s success and the airport embodies it. From understanding their responsibilities as airport pass holders, following the airport’s security procedures to reporting issues of concern like unattended baggage, suspicious items and behaviour, they can display how much of a priority they place on security.
“Security culture is reliant on everyone in the workforce actively contributing to its maintenance and robustness. It is everyone’s responsibility. Our Security-driven actions should be embedded in the day-to-day duties of all staff, not just those having a direct connection to security.”
Mr Massaquoi concluded on the benefits that this conscious security culture can yield, like reducing the risk of security incidents and breaches, and the vigilance, when everyone thinks and acts in more security-conscious ways, aids passenger comfort.
Regina Bridget Minah and Francess Khadie Conteh, Senior Aviation Security Inspectors of the Civil Aviation Authority, who are also members of SLWIA, made a PowerPoint presentation on the global and national security culture perspectives. Using ICAO toolkits, their PowerPoint presentation and educational videos looked at the ingredients of an effective security culture, which included personal ownership, forms of reporting & enforcement and clear security guidelines. They were able to translate and share their vast knowledge on Aviation security in relatable ways, particularly in integrity management so as to avoid vices of insider threats.
In her statement, WASS Country Director, Madam Musayearoh Barrie, said the Westminster Aviation Security services is charged with providing human and material resources in augmenting the country’s international gateway. She continued that they keep generating the prescribed development of security training for their staff, creating and implementing incident reporting mechanisms, security practices in performance evaluations and developing communication plans highlighting security and sharing information on best practices. With all of these programs, they will always need the compliance and support of every assigned employee at the Airport, she stated.
Keynote speaker Madam Elizabeth Turay, Deputy Inspector General of Police, said she was extremely happy that women from various institutions could mobilise to support one another’s professional development and for the good of their various organizations. She highlighted practical ways that could create an effective security culture, gleaning from her enviable work experiences in policing and border control.
Mallay Betty Braima, President of the Women in Aviation and Ing Lyat Mason, Vice President, appreciated the Westminster Aviation Security Services for funding the workshop while extending appreciation to the different agencies for gracing the workshop. They call on the women to be exemplary and committed to Aviation growth.