State House, Freetown Wednesday 19 February 2020 – Chief Executive Officer of Aquila Company (SL) Limited, Dr Jan Popke Ketlaar, has briefed His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio on plans to rehabilitate and expand Hastings Airfield into an airport and develop similar facilities in Lungi, Bonthe and Magburaka.
Accompanied by the company’s Sierra Leone based Managing Director, Dr Abdul Kamara and Chairman Mark Joseph Brazier, the CEO said that the aviation services would also include the development of the Hastings airstrip, the construction of a bankable gold refinery and assay laboratory and a fifty-bedroom hotel in the area.
The company chairman, Mr. Brazier, said: “The Aquila team is committed to this project and in the interest of the people of Sierra Leone. We will provide energy supply and direct job opportunities for people living around areas of our operations,” he disclosed, adding that they were also exploring the possibility of providing train services for passengers and goods from Masiaka in the north to Freetown.
He said that they would support the Air Force Wing of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces with housing units and offices, adding that they would also partner with them and allow their technicians and engineers to train personnel of the Air Force wing.
President Bio encouraged the management of Aquila Company to pursue the project, especially the Hastings airfield which was to be expanded into a bigger facility.
Hastings is a town in the Rural District in the Western Area of Sierra Leone and lies approximately 15 miles east of Freetown. The current airstrip, an abandoned airfield, resides at an elevation of 60 feet above mean sea level and has one runway designated with 960 metres in length of the asphalt surface.
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