Government will reclaim Hastings Airfield -Deputy Transport Minister and Aviation

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By Alfred Koroma

The Deputy Minister of Transport and Aviation, Rex Bonapha has said the Government of Sierra Leone will reclaim Hastings Airfield.

Hastings Airfield has a paved runway and a helipad which was used by the different UN missions in Sierra Leone, but the land has long been an abandoned by government, making it ripe for encroachers.

“Because of neglect on the part of government over the years, Hastings was abandoned and encroached upon, the Deputy Minister said. “When we came back, we have done survey on it, and I can assure you that Hastings can still be used for domestic purpose. 

He said this  last week during a tour with journalists at the newly constructed $270 million dollars Airport built by the Government of Sierra Leone in agreement with Summa Construction Company.

 The aim of the tour was to dispel fake news on social media that the Airport was just rehabilitation and an extension of the decades’ old Freetown International Airport. The tour was done in the two separate airports along with Erdem Arikam, the Regional Manager, Summa Construction.

 The issue of Hastings Airport entered the conversation of the tour when one of the journalists, Thomas Dixon asked whether government has any plan to reclaim Hastings Airfield Land.

In his response, the Deputy Transport and aviation Minister said they have issued a memo requesting all those occupying the land to submit their documents for verification.

Last year, talks came out that government through the Ministry of Transportation and aviation approved the sale of a portion of the Hastings Airfield to Ahmed Mackie, a private businessman to construct a cement factory. But when asked whether the businessman is among those requested to submit their documents for verification, the Deputy Minister said nobody is exempted from the verification.

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