A UAS Station Manager’s Mission in Sao Tome: Our Ghana Station Manager, Arsias Adodoh writes about a recent supervision mission that took him to Sao Tome, capital of São Tomé and Príncipe.
In late June, I traveled to Sao Tome to supervise a mission for a valued client. The city is a favorite stop location for the flight crew. I was determined that the operation would be smooth, and the crew would enjoy their short stay.
Preparations started a week prior with me gathering all my documents to apply for my visa online. UAS Executive Travel and the UAS Africa Operations team handled these documents and all travel arrangements. Unfortunately, there was a delay with my online visa, but our handling agent at Sao Tome was contacted and asked to arrange a visa on arrival for me. With this assurance, my ticket and hotel accommodation were finalized. My trip began at the Kotoka International Airport where I boarded a flight to Sao Tome.
Day 1 in Sao Tome
On my arrival, the handling agent was waiting to help me go through customs and immigration. The Aeroporto Internacional De Sao Tome is a small airport barely able to accommodate two wide-bodied B777 for overnight parking. After the Customs formalities, I was escorted by the handling agent to the hotel where, with no time to rest, I had to start preparing for the arrival of the client. A brief meeting was held with the Handling agent to review all the preparations made and once satisfied with all the arrangements in place, the agent left, and I continued through the night to prepare the Arrival Flight Brief to be sent to crew.
Day 2 in Sao Tome
The next day I paid a courtesy visit to ENCO (our fuel supplier in Sao Tome) in the morning as the flight was due to arrive in the afternoon. It was a perfect opportunity to meet with the people I’ve grown to know through email exchanges and phone conversations over the years. The language barrier was a challenge: no one spoke English, and I don’t speak Portuguese (the official language of Sao Tome). The handling agent was very helpful in this situation and translated for me.
After the meeting, we headed to the airport for a meeting about the handling of the expected flight. We took the opportunity to advise the fuelers of the arrival movements and requirements.
The flight landed at 16:34z. I ensured that the fuel service required was in place and ready to go.
After the refueling, the aircraft was repositioned to a nightstand bay. The crew was escorted through Custom and Immigration and I personally accompanied them to their hotel, making sure that everything was as per their requirements before returning to my own hotel.
Day 3 in Sao Tome
On the way, I couldn’t help but noticing some monuments and beautiful landscapes.
In the morning, we escorted the crew to the airport for departure procedures. It was the only flight of the morning.
After the flight departed, a courtesy visit was paid to the Sao Tome CAA.
All business attended to, I had a quick lunch with our handler before checking out of my hotel. I got to the airport and waited for my flight and we departed at 19:35z.
Finally, I arrive back in Ghana feeling tired but satisfied with my mission’s success. I met some really nice and friendly people in Sao Tome, it seems like a wonderful location for a vacation. The atmosphere, the climate, even all the varieties of exotic fruits make it a really attractive place to visit. I would have wished to see more of Sao Tome, but time wouldn’t permit me.
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