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The 77th International Civil Aviation Day was celebrated under the patronage of His Excellency President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on 23rd December 2021 at the auditorium of Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka (CAASL). 

The President Gotabaya Rajapaksa visited the exhibition which showcased the creations made by the innovators of civil Aviation and the President awards to five seniors in the field of civil aviation in recognition of their contribution to the advancement of the civil aviation sector and to three students symbolizing a thousand students which won a competition organized by the Civil Aviation Promotion Unit by the CAASL via online in the period of school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as several individuals representing various field of civil aviation.

Hon. Minister of Tourism, Prasanna Ranatunga, Hon. State Minister of Civil Aviation & Export Zone Development, D.V. Chanaka, Chairman of CAASL Mr. Upul Darmadasa, Vice Chairman of CAASL Mr. Amitha Wijayasuriya, Director General of Civil Aviation & Chief Executive Officer Capt. Themiya Abeywickrama, Board Members of CAASL were presented to this occasion.

 

The Newly Minister of Ports, Shipping & Aviation Services, Hon. Nimal Siripala De Silva visited the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka (CAASL) and had discussions with Mr. Upul Dharmadasa, Chairman of CAASL, Capt. Themiya Abeywickrama, Director General of Civil Aviation & Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Amitha Wijesuriya, Vice Chairman of CAASL, Board of Directors and other Senior Officials. The Discussions were on the immediate and future work plans of the Authority and the Industry. 

The new Secretary of the Ministry Mr. K D S Ruwanchandra and other senior officials also were present at the discussions.

Mr. Murat Bayder, the General Manager for Sri Lanka and Maldives of Turkish Airlines had a courtesy discussion with  Capt. Themiya Abeywickrama the Director General of Civil Aviation at the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka. At the meeting Mr. Murat and Capt. Themiya discussed about the Turkish airlines operations and its future operational plans to and from Sri Lanka. Mr. Murat specially mentioned that Turkish airlines has identified Sri Lanka as an important aspect of their operation and wish to increase flights to Colombo from October 2022. As per Mr. Murat, the Turkish airline will explore operating two flights per day between Istanbul and Colombo from the next winter season.

The DGCA emphasized the opportunities of operating to Mattala International Airport since it has more concessions for commercial airlines and the Turkish Airline representatives promised to consider the proposal from next winter positively.

Mr. Rayhan Wanniappa, the Act. Deputy Director General (Corporate Management), Mr. Ishara Gunawardana, Manager (Air Services and Traffic Rights) from Civil Aviation Authority were also present for the meeting while Ms. Shermika Kuweju, Regional Sales Manager of Turkish Airlines represented the airline.

Implementing Standard 72 Requirements for Flight Crew Licensing was published being effective from 1st April 2021. The Training Organization and Personnel Licensing section in collaboration with the Operations Section of CAASL needed to grant DGCA authorization to the Flight Test Examiners who are involved with the practical assessments of the aircrew engaged with commercial air transportation. Mainly Flight Test Examiners of SriLankan Airlines Limited and Fits Air (Pvt) Ltd.

Prior to granting authorization a one-day training session was held at CAASL on the 5th of April 2022 for them to familiarize with the requirements stipulated in the Implementing Standard 72. 

The participants viewed a presentation by CAASL Designated Flight Operations Inspector Capt. Romesh De SIlva where 15 Flight Test Examiners representing SriLankan Airlines and 2 from Fits Air were present. The regulatory requirements were presented by the Director Training Organization and Personnel Licensing Mr. Sugath Nagahawatte during the session. While the Director Flight Operations Capt. Lushan Fernando explained the change from the previous Designated Check Pilot concept to the new Flight Test Examiner concept.

At the conclusion of the training, Certificates and the DGCA authorization letters were awarded to the participants by Director general of Civil Aviation & Chief Executive Officer Capt. Themiya Abeywickrama at a function held at the auditorium.  

Personnel Licensing section Senior Inspector Ms. Champika Vidanapathirana, Inspectors Ms. Sandamali Kapilratne, Mr. Nimanka Fernando and Operations inspectors Capt. Daminda Rambukwella, Capt. Isuru Srathchandra and Designated Flight Operations inspcetors Capt. Anton Keil and Capt. Ravi Dharmawickrama participated at the event.

The 29th Steering Committee Meeting of COSCAP - South Asia (Cooperative Development of Operational Safety and Continuing Airworthiness Program – South Asia), the organization established with the aim of promoting safety in civil aviation, was successfully held in Colombo. The meeting was being held at Hotel Hilton for three days from 29th to 31st of March.

This organization was established back in year 1997 and has taken many steps to secure the safety of the civil aviation of the South Asian region.

Apart from the members of the organization, there were representatives from Airbus, Boeing, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and Civil Aviation Authorities of Britain (CAA-UK) and France (DGCA-France) attended the meeting.

There were about 60 representatives attending the meeting representing various stakeholders and  Sri Lanka is privileged to hold the meeting and Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka acts as the organizer of the meeting.

This was the first international conference in the field of civil aviation holds in Sri Lanka after the Covid-19 pandemic.

The meeting revolved the safety operations of South Asian region and delegates were very keen on the suggestions and agreed to look into them favorably.     

The Steering Committee meeting has been organized under the guidance of the Chairman of Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka, Mr. Upul Dharmadasa, Vice Chairman – Mr. Amitha Wijesuriya, Director General of Civil Aviation & Chief Executive OfficerCaptain Themiya Abeywickrama & Mr. P A Jayakantha, Additional Director General. The organizing committee is comprising Mr. Rayhan Wanniappa as the chief organizer, Mrs. Shermila Magamamudali as the secretary with other officials of the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka.

Image –

Capt. Themiya Abeywickrama, Director General of Civil Aviation is presenting a token of appreciation to Capt. Marie Zubryckyj, Chief Technical Advisor of COSCAP-SA.