Republic of Sierra Leone

Airport Transfer Unit (ATU)

The Airport Transfer Unit (ATU) through funding from Investment Climate Facility (ICF), Tanzania and Government of Sierra Leone (GoSL) was established to constitute a co-ordinated and efficient administration which will be in compliance with international stakeholders especially for the Lungi to Freetown passenger transfer service. 

ATU Objective:

Develop a system/service that will reduce transfer time between Lungi and Freetown as well as being cost effective. 

2016 Outcomes

1. To complete the rehabilitation of the Government owned jetties at Government Wharf and have the facilities at Government Wharf and Targrin fully operational for passenger transfer service to and from Lungi International Airport.

2. To attract private investors to commence commercial helicopter passenger transfer service from the Government owned helipads at Aberdeen and Lungi.

3. Put in a place a Code of Conduct for operators in the business of passenger transfer to and from Lungi International Airport.

4. Monitoring of operators and reporting to the relevant stakeholders in order to set service standards for passenger transfer service in terms of safety and security.

Measures for accomplishing the outcomes

The Airport Transfer Unit will collaborate with the following agencies:

  • For Helipad operations – Sierra Leone Civil Aviation Authority (SLCAA) and Sierra Leone Airports Authority (SLAA)
  • For Jetty operations – Sierra Leone Maritime Administration (SLMA) and Sierra Leone Ports Authority (SLPA)
  • For private sector investment – Public and Private Partnership Unit (PPP)

Programme activities in support of the outcomes

  • In Liaison with SLCAA and SLMA, ATU will develop a checklist and monitoring tool for monitoring of passenger safety and security.
  • Develop database to capture all vessel and craft operators offering transfer service to and from Lungi International Airport.
  • Develop key contact for all operators.
  • In Liaison with SLMA and SLCAA, develop Code of Conduct for vessel and craft operators carrying out passenger transfer service to and from Lungi.

Programmes under the Office of the Permanent Secretary

Participation in the Budget Committee

  • In Liaison with the Office of the Permanent Secretary prepare relevant documents and presentation for budget sessions in the Ministry and for the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MoFED).

Participation in the Performance Management Committee

  • In liaison with the Permanent Secretary co-ordinate meetings with regards to the Ministry’s Performance Tracking.
  • Monitoring quarterly targets of the Performance Tracking Table.
    • Prepare relevant documents for the committees.
    • Prepare presentations for Performance Tracking sessions.

Co-ordinate any other required administrative duty as required by the Office of the Permanent Secretary in relation to budget and performance tracking sessions.                                          

Helipad Operations

All throughout the Ebola Epidemic, the Airport Transfer Unit (ATU) successfully managed the helipad at Aberdeen in providing support for use by Medecins Sans Frontier (MSF) and Department for International Department (DFID).

The Aberdeen Helipad was utilised by both organisation for full operations of their helicopter support service to and from Aberdeen and the Provinces.

MSF also used the Aberdeen Helipad as their base for their operations to both Guinea and Liberia.

Administrative Duties

Airport Transfer Unit collaborated with the Office of the Permanent Secretary to prepare documents and made successful presentations for budget and performance tracking sessions to Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MoFED) and the Performance Management Service Directorate (PMSD) respectively.


ATU with the support of the Ministry and the Strategy and Policy Unit (SPU) secured funding from MoFED to repair the broken sewage pipe at Government Wharf which in addition to the ebola epidemic was also affecting the progress to the rehabilitation works to the jetties at Government Wharf.

The repair works to the sewage pipes started in July 2015 and expected completion is March 2016.