WHY NOT A NEW AIRPORT IN SIERRA LEONE?
By Tony Bee, Sydney, Australia
There is nothing in this world that does exist without advantages and disadvantages. But sometimes one can surpass the other. It could be the advantages or the disadvantages. Therefore, in many cases one cannot go without the other. For instance, the construction of a new International Airport in Sierra Leone has its own pros and cons. It’s a real fact that one cannot run away from.
But that does not mean a new airport should not be constructed in the country because of it disadvantages. For the fact that its advantages are more greater than its disadvantages, especially in terms of the economic and social benefits that it will bring, including the booming of business and the high rate of employment opportunities that it will create in the country.
And for it to also become the hub of West Africa is a great blessing and it construction will also solve or minimise housing accommodation issues in the city of Freetown. Which is another good blessing for the country. For the fact that some people in Freetown and other part of the country will be moving to the new airport environment to resettle.
However despite the very good economic and social benefits that the proposed new Mammamah International Airport will bring to the country but to those who are one sided and short sighted, particularly the enemies of peace and development Sierra Leoneans in and out of the country always looking at the demerits of the construction of the new airport in the country.
They never bothered to look at the merits of such an opportunity in the country, especially the solving of or minimising the problems of crossing with Ferry along the Ocean or river to Lungi Airport. That is why patriotic peace, progress and development loving Sierra Leonean observers said they, the blind unpatriotic critics are politicizing the country’s developmental issue because of their political and regional hatred.
Therefore, the big question is, if Australia one of the richest countries in the world with massive development programs, including international and domestic airports still have some underdeveloped areas such as housing, unemployment issues and places been affected by floods and bush fire but that does not prevent them from constructing a brand new airport.
Why not Sierra Leone that has just one international airport that you have to cross a deep sea or ocean with boats or ferry that have more higher risk with lots of waste of time?
Lungi International Airport that one cannot compare its international standard level with any of the Australia domestic airports, particularly in terms of their modern facilities. In view of that I see no reason why government should not construct a new airport, especially when the opportunity is there. If I may continue to ask questions, Sierra Leone, a country that is in dire need of great development programs and activities why should there not be another airport that will improve the lives of Sierra Leoneans, especially the poor masses’ lives?
The Australians and their government that have all that it takes for not constructing another new airport did not stop the approval of their new airport proposal. Because of what they have already. In view of that they should have just said, look man, we have very good standard international and domestic airports. Therefore, there is no need for a new airport in the country.
As a result, they should take such airport money and spend it to other areas that need development as enemies of progress and development Sierra Leone in and out of the country are always insinuated because of political and regional hatred at the expense of the nation’s development.
Hypocritically and naively they are the very Sierra Leoneans that crying down government, by saying that government is not creating an atmosphere of employment opportunities in the country. Is the proposed construction of such a wonderful international airport not a great source of employment in the country?
However, in spite of there are few Australian critics about the approval of the construction of a new airport in the country, but the Australian government went ahead and approved the construction of the new airport in the country. Because the government and the majority of Australians know the numerous benefits that such a new airport will bring to them.
Therefore, President Koroma please listen NOT to the detractors of your government, especially enemies of peace, progress and development in and out of the country in connection with the construction of Mammamah International Airport in the country.
However, please read below what the patriotic and development oriented Australians said about the recent approval of the construction of a new airport in their country by their government.
“ABC News, 12th December 2016” Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek signed off by Federal Government
By Danuta Kozaki
A second Sydney airport was locked in today when Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Federal Infrastructure Minister Paul Fletcher signed off on the Badgerys Creek plan.
- Malcolm Turnbull and Paul Fletcher sign off on a plan for a second airport in Western Sydney
- Airport is due to be be operational in mid-20s. By 2030 it is estimated up to 10 million passengers will use the terminal
- The first single runway will be large enough to accommodate an A380 aircraft
The Airport Plan was formulated after decades of debate about the Badgerys Creek site.
Stage One of Western Sydney Airport is due to be operational in the mid 2020s, with a single runway and facilities for about 10 million passengers a year.
Mr Fletcher said Western Sydney Airport would bring big benefits for the city and the nation.
“For some two million people it will be closer than Kingsford Smith [Sydney] Airport,” he said.
Mr Fletcher said stage one would include a single runway, with another runway mid this century.
“There’ll be a 3,700-metre runway up to and including an airbus 380,” he said.
“There’ll be a terminal that will cater for up to 10 million passengers a year — that is the traffic levels we expect to get to by the early to mid 2030s.”
The new airport will be a major generator of jobs and economic activity for Western Sydney, both during construction but also once it is operational.
“By 2030 it is expected to generate around 9,000 jobs,” Mr Fletcher said.
David Borger from the Western Sydney Airport Alliance said he believed an airport at Badgerys Creek was now inevitable.
“Finally today we have the approval of the airport plan, which is imminent … which will allow the airport to proceed so I think people are pretty positive it’s actually going to happen now,” he said.
Not everyone happy about airport
The Blue Mountains Council west of Sydney said a second Sydney airport at Badgerys Creek would have a severe impact on the World Heritage site.
Mayor Mark Greenhill said the plans were incomplete, leaving residents and Sydney’s water supply vulnerable.
“I don’t know how in my city noise attenuation is going to work, I don’t know what the impacts on flora and fauna is going to be,” he said.
“I don’t know what the impact on our air quality is going to be. I don’t even know where the planes are going to be flying, that’s how inadequate this process is going to be.
“If this is Malcolm Turnbull’s idea of a Christmas present I want to take it back on Boxing Day.”
The peak local government body Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) president Stephen Bali said the signing off on plans was premature.
“After 50 years of discussion we still have no real rail plan,” he said.
“It is a 24/7 airport, versus Mascot, which is only 16 hours.
“There are no flight paths, no noise abatement, no fuel lines … the Environmental Impact Statement that has been done failed on several grounds.”
In a written statement, Federal Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg said he had considered the Airport Plan against the findings of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), and strict conditions had been placed on the airport’s development.
‘It’s going to make life easier’
Commuter Jodie Guthrie said she would gladly use Western Sydney Airport, even without a direct rail link, as she currently drives to the Sydney Airport.
She said a second airport would bring benefits to everyone.
“There is so much pressure on one airport in Sydney with the high population,” she said.
“The benefits [will be] to business, parking and getting in and out a lot quicker.”
Jason Armstrong from Canberra said there would be many benefits, but is worried about transport.
“I think the potential is good if it can get more people on their flights on time,” he said.
“But if it’s too far out of the city it could be a problem especially for people who don’t have the money for taxis or Ubers.”
Nick from Katoomba in Sydney’s Blue Mountains told 702 ABC Sydney he cannot wait for the new airport.
“At the moment it takes me three hours door-to-door to get to the airport,” he said.
Waiting at Sydney Airport, Sydneysider Bill Meischke said a second airport was much needed.
“The location is not convenient for us, but the traffic coming into here is unbelievable,” he said.
“It is going to make life easier getting in and out because we do not all have to go the same airport.”
Government ‘jumping ahead before Christmas’
However, Mr Bali said a $3 billion airport should have proper plans before being announced.
“It needs multi-billion-dollar infrastructure to go with it,” he said.
“None of these plans have come out, yet the Federal Government is jumping ahead just before Christmas.”
The Federal Government said rail options were still being considered and it was working with the New South Wales Government to map out road and rail linkages to the site.
The State Government is expected to announce its second airport transport plans tomorrow.
Mr Fletcher said the first major work would be to level the site, which is due for completion by the end of 2018.