On Friday, May 17, 2024, Minister of Transport and Aviation, Ambassador Colonel (Rtd) Alhaji Fanday Turay, led the distribution of severance payment cheques to former employees of the Sierra Leone Airports Authority (SLAA).

Held at the old Freetown Airport Terminal, this ceremony marked the second phase of severance payments, addressing the financial entitlements of retirees and redundant staff following the airport’s restructuring.

Minister Turay announced that the severance payment process involves around 500 redundant employees. In the first tranche, 40 staff members received payments, with an additional 37 benefiting in this second tranche. The total severance payout amounts to $7.5 million. The Freetown International Airport (FIA), in collaboration with various stakeholders, has pledged to disburse $350,000 monthly until November to ensure all redundant staff receive their benefits by the deadline.

The Ministry will ensure all staff are paid by November this year. FIA has committed to ensuring they make payments every month till November to ensure the process comes to a befitting end. We urge all parties to exercise patience as the process continues. The leadership will protect staff welfare at the airport. However, we encourage all staff to be diligent and keep the airport safe,” Minister Turay stated at the event.

Ibrahim Sheriff, the Country Manager of Freetown International Airport (formerly Summa), reaffirmed FIA’s commitment to the severance payment schedule. He assured former SLAA employees that the process would proceed as planned, with FIA fulfilling its financial obligations.

Jack Massaquoi, General Manager of the Sierra Leone Airports Authority, expressed satisfaction with the progress of the severance payment distribution. He extended his gratitude to FIA and all involved for ensuring that former staff members receive their entitled benefits.

Mr. Abdulai Conteh from the Ministry of Labour, Employment, and Social Security, reminded attendees that receiving their benefits would officially end their employment with SLAA. He highlighted the Labour Ministry’s role in upholding labor rights throughout the transition process.

The event concluded with the presentation of bank statements to the beneficiaries, marking a significant milestone in their transition from SLAA. This ceremony underscored the collaborative efforts of the government and FIA in addressing the welfare of former airport staff and ensuring a smooth transition for all involved.