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Sri Lanka Completes 75 Years with International Civil Aviati...

01 June 2023

Today the 01st June marks the 75 years of Sri...

ICAO reaffirms Sri Lanka flying high in its Aviation Securit...

19 May 2023

ICAO audited Sri Lanka aviation security systems under the Universal...


2018.03.25- Opening of Batticaloa Airport for Civil Aviation Operation

The commencement of the Batticaloa Development project planned for an extension and overlay to the existing runway, fixing of runway lights and construction of a new terminal building as well as the apron; the area where aircraft are parked. As the Batticaloa runway is locked at either ends between the lagoon, it could not be extended beyond 1,560 meters, which is adequate for operation of 60 seater aircraft. Runway expansion work was done initially by the Road Development Authority (60%) and the balance part was completed by Sri Lanka Air Force. The total budget allocated for the reconstruction of the runway, apron and terminal building which is Rs.1,400 million was borne by the General Treasury. 

Vesting of Ratmalana and Bandaranaike International Airports in the CAASL

2018.03.29 :Opening of the CAASL Head Office Building at Katunayake

Hon. Nimal Siripala de Silva, Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation declared open the Head office building of the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka at 1000hrs on 29th March 2018 at 152/1, Minwangoda Road, Katunayake in the presence of Mr.Ashok Abeyasinghe, Deputy Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation, Mr.G.S.Withanage, Secretary, Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation at the invitation of Mr. Ananda Wimalasena, Chairman and Mr. H.M.C.Nimalsiri, Director General of Civil Aviation and Chief Executive Officer of the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka. The building was constructed by the State Engineering Corporation at the cost of Rs.803 million, which was wholly financed by the CAASL own funds. 

Decorated building for over-night pirith chanting ceremony is seen below

The very first building in which Department of Civil Aviation commenced work in 1946 with its establishment.


06.01.2017 : Commencement of resurfacing programme of the BIA runway by closing it for commercial operations between 0830 hrs and 1630 daily for a continuous period of three months ending on 06.04.2017. Hon. Nimal Siripala de Silva, Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation launched the work by waving a green flag.

The AASL has selected through approved competitive procurement process the following consultant and contractor for the runway resurfacing with the approval of the Cabinet of Ministers.

Project consultant : Joint Venture of Netherlands Airport Consultant (NACO) and Engineering Consultancy Ltd (ECL) for Design Review and Construction Supervision and  the Consultant fee : US$ 524,141 + Tax + Rs.28,725,000 + Tax.

Project Contractor: Joint Venture of China National Aero Technology International Engineering Group (CATIC) and Shanghai New Era Airport Design and Research Institute Co. Ltd. of Civil Aviation Authority of China for the runway overlay and associated work in the form of Design and Build contract. Contract amount: US$ 48,600,406 + Tax

Total Cost: The total cost of runway resurfacing is estimated to be Rs.7.2 billion and it will be financed totally by the Airports and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) Ltd.

06.04.2017 : Resumption BIA runway operations after completion of the resurfacing programme, as planned.  SriLankan A320 Neo brand new aircraft landed after Hon.Minister declared the runway was open for normal operations.


53rd Conference of Directors General of Civil Aviation was held in Sri Lanka from 01-05 August 2015, at Hilton Colombo.

53rd Conference of Directors General of Civil Aviation - Asia and Pacific Region  01-05 August 2016 
Opening of Batticaloa airport after resurfacing by His Excellency the President  
Signing of Contract for resurfacing of BIA Runway  


2015.12.14 - Hon. Nimal Siripala De Silva, Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation laid the foundation for the construction of CAA Headquarters at Katunayake BIA premises. The estimated cost of the building is Rs.803 million.


2015.01.17 - SriLankan Airlines stopped all commercial operations into and out of Mattala Rajapakse International Airport, Hambantota.

2015.01.25 - Mihin Lanka Ltd suspends all operations into and out of Mattala Rajapakse International Airport.

2015.02.11 - Air China airlines commence four weekly direct flights from Chengdu to Bandaranaike International Airport, Colombo using Airbus A330 aircraft .




20.10.2014- Seth Pirith chanting ceremony at Weerawila Bungalow in preparation for official opening

09.06.2014 - Opening of CAA office at MRIA by the Minister of Civil Aviation Hon.Piyankara Jayaratne

22.06.2014 - Ceremonial inauguration of the aviation refueling terminal with fuel hydrant facilities at MRIA by the President, His Execllency Mahinda Rajapakse



18.03.2013 – Opening of the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport



Sri Lanka commemorates Centenary of Aviation in Sri Lanka
08.01.2012 Landing of Emirates A380 aircraft at Bandaranaike International Airport

24.05.2012 ICAO conducted an Audit on Aviation Security Oversight capabilities of Sri Lanka
16.10.2012 The first aircraft engaged in flight calibration landed at Mattala International Airport

07.12.2012 Centenary celebration of Aviation in Sri Lanka
2012 Total movement of passengers, cargo and aircraft in and out of Sri Lanka exceeded 6.2 M, 200 metric tons and 43,600 respectively


2011 Total movement of passengers, cargo and aircraft in and out of Sri Lanka exceeded 6,000,000, 200 metric tons and 43,600 respectively
04.02.2011 Civil Aviation Act No.10 of 2010 was enforced
25.04.2011 Laying of foundation stone for the construction of passenger terminal at Mattala airport with capacity 1 million passenger per annum


2010 Total movement of passengers, cargo and aircraft movements in and out of Sri Lanka exceeded 5,000,000, 167 metric tons and 35,000 respectively
06.07.2010 The Government of Sri Lanka bought Emirates stakes in Sri Lankan
24.10.2010 ICAO Audit on Safety Oversight capabilities of Sri Lanka
24.10.2010 ICAO conducted an Audit on the Safety Oversight capabilities of Sri Lanka
    “SriLankan” Airlines recommenced “Air Taxi” service


20.02.2009 LTTE terrorists attacked the Colombo city by two light aircraft
27.11.2009 Launch of the Project for the construction of international airport at Mattala, Hambantota


Page is under construction


24.04.2007 – Commencement of commercial flights by Mihin Lanka Ltd


27.10.2006 Birth of Mihin Lanka as as a fully State owned Company fully funded by the General Treasury


15.11.2005 Bandaranaike International Airport expansion projects under the Stage 1, PhaseII Expansion Project opened with a pier with eight aero-bridges



30.11.2004 ICAO Audit on Safety Oversight Capabilities of Sri Lanka
2004 Total movement of passengers, cargo and aircraft in and out of Sri Lanka exceeded 4,000,000, 152 metric tons and 30,000 respectively
    “Sri Lankan” airlines commenced float plane operations as “Air Taxi” to selected water aerodromes around the country


2003 Total movement of passengers, cargo and aircraft movements in and out of Sri Lanka exceeded 3,000,000, 112 metric tons and 22,500 respectively


27.12.2002 Abolition of the Department of Civil Aviation and establishment of Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka under Act No.34 of 2002


24.01.2001 LTTE infiltrated into the Katunayake Air Force base and destroyed eight military aircraft on the Air Force side and two Airbus A340, one Airbus A330 aircraft and one Airbus 320-200 aircraft


13.03.2000 – ICAO Audit on Safety Oversight Capabilities of Sri Lanka

24.03.2000 – AN 12 aircraft of “Sky Cabs” airline crashed at Kadirana near Negombo


01.04.1998 Emirates took over control of AirLanka under a management agreement of 10years with the Government

29.09.1998 AN-24 aircraft leased by Lion Air flight 602, with 55 persons onboard went missing exactly ten minutes after takeoff from Jaffna Airport


10.02.1997 ICAO conduct an Assessment on the Safety Oversight capabilities of Sri Lanka


14.09.1995 Commissioning of Secondary Mono pulse Surveillance Radar (SSR) at Mount Pidurutalagala
1995 Total movement of passengers, cargo and aircraft in and out of Sri Lanka exceeded 2,000,000, 76 metric tons; and 16,500 respectively
1995 Katunayake International Airport was renamed as Bandaranaike International Airport, Colombo


1994 – Registered airline in Sri Lanka were permitted to commence operations to domestic airports.


1993 “Sky Cabs” started international cargo services by using AN12 aircraft and it was the first Sri Lanka registered private airline which commenced international operations


1992 Amendment of the Air Navigation Act for elevation of the Post of Director of Civil Aviation to Director General of Civil Aviation
    “Air Lanka” added it’s first “Airbus” aircraft to the fleet and registered as “4R –ABA”. It was a A320 aircraft.


1990 – Liberalization of carriage of air freight


03.05.1986 Explosion of Air Lanka TriStar L-1011 aircraft at BIA by the LTTE terrorists killing14 passengers onboard

22.11.1986 Concord, the world’s first supersonic aircraft operated by British Airways landed at Bandaranaike International Airport during its round-the world flight
October 1986 Opening of the new runway for commercial operations


1984 – Commencement of construction of new runway at Katunayake Airport


1983 Abolition of the Airports Authority and Appointment of Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) Ltd., for development, operation and maintenance of civil airports including provision of Air Navigation Services


1982 Total movement of passengers, cargo and aircraft in and out of Sri Lanka exceeded 1,000,000, 50 metric tons and 11,000 respectively
1982 Enactment of Air Navigation (Special Provisions) Act No.2 of 1982 making provisions appointment of Agent
30.06.1982 Alitalia B747 aircraft with 340 passengers, high jacked by Sri Lankan landed at Bangkok International Airport


1980 Enactment of Airports Authority Act No. 46 of 1979 Establishment of Airports Authority for development, operation and maintenance of civil airports


01.09.1979 – Birth of Air Lanka and its inaugural flight to Bangkok


15.11.1978 Icelandic Airlines DC-8 accident at Kimbulapitiya killing 184 out of 264 persons onboard

07.11.1978 Explosion of Air Ceylon HS-748 aircraft by LTTE terrorists at Ratmalana Airport


1976 Commissioning of Primary Surveillance Radar (PSR) at Bandaranaike International Airport in preparation for non-Aligned Nations Conference


04.12.1974 Martin Air DC-8 aircraft accident at Seven Virgin Hills at Maskeliya killing 191 persons onboard


1972 - Sri Lanka Air Force registered a company called “Helitours” to promote tourism industry


11.09.1971 Boeing Jumbo jet (B747) operated by Condor German Airline landed at Colombo International Airport


15.11.1968 – Opening of the Katunayake Airport for international flights


1963 Commencement of development of Katunayake Airport with the financial assistance by the Canadian Government, which includes extension of runway from 1840 metres to 3368 metres and construction of a terminal building with a capacity of 150,000 passengers per year


1960 – Commencement Upali Air, first domestic airliner in Sri Lanka


1958 – Air Ceylon entered into partnership with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines


01.11.1957 – Handing over of Katunayake Royal Airbase to Sri Lanka by the British Government


1955 – Promulgation of Air Navigation Regulations of 1955


1951 Incorporation of Air Ceylon with 51% shares owned by the Government and 49% by Australian National Airways


06.11.1950 Opening of Ceylon Air Academy by Prime Minister Hon.D.S.Senanayake
1950 Enactment of Air Navigation Act No.15 of 1950


1949 Commencement of Air Ceylon flights to London
21.12.1949 Accident of Air Ceylon Douglas Dakota (registered VP-CAT) at Tiruchirapalli Airport with no loss of lives but destroying hull


01.06.1948 Sri Lanka gave accession to Convention on International Civil Aviation and became a member of the International Civil Aviation Organization


February 1947 – Commencement of air services by Ceylon Airways with three DC-3 aircraft under the Ministry of Communications and Works


10.12.1947 – Inaugural flight of Air Ceylon to Madras after name change from Ceylon Airways


March 1946 Establishment of Department of Civil Aviation
13.11.1946 Landing of Autocrat aircraft of Mr.J.P.Obeysekara at Ratmalana with 31 intermediate stops after taking off from London


1945 - Commencement of Air Service between Australia and United Kingdom with a stop in Sri Lanka Department of Civil Aviation took over the control of Ratmalana Airport.


30.03.1943 – Landing of seaplane at Koggala Lagoon


1942 – Royal Air Force took over control of Ratmalana Airport


1939 – Construction of Palavi Airport at Puttlam as an emergency airfield


28.02.1938 Formal opening of the Ratmalana Airport by Governor Sir Andrew Caldecott

1938 Appointment of the Director of Public Works as Director of Civil Aviation
28.02.1938 Launch of Air Mail service between Colombo and Mumbai


1937 – Promulgation of Air Navigation Regulations and Registration of three aircraft in SriLanka


07.08.1935 – First air competition of Colombo Flying Club


1934 Establishment of Colombo Flying Club by Sir John Kotalawala
1934 Decision of the State Council to construct an Aerodrome at Ratmalana


07.05.1931 – Arrival of the first International flight to the Race Course from Mumbai


25.12.1912 Bleriot’s first attempt to fly at the Colombo Race Course
07.12.1912 Bleriot performed first successful flight at the Race Course


12.09.1911 – Arrival of Bleriot aircraft in Sri Lanka in a ship