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ICAO – the International Civil Aviation Organization, a specialized agency of the UN at its 5th council meeting, 224 session has designated 20th day of February as the international day to commemorate the aircraft accident victims and their families.

In line with the ICAO declaration, Sri Lanka being one of its member states has established the commemoration day beginning February’22 at a simple ceremony organized by the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka (CAASL).

The Civil Aviation Authority is the statutory body that regulates and oversees all aspects of civil aviation within the territory of Sri Lanka and air space above it, established by an Act of Parliament (Act No.34 of 2002).

On 1st December’21, at the first ever international symposium on assistance to aircraft accident victims and their families, The Secretary General of ICAO Salazar, during his key note address observed that ‘Aviation Safety is an incredible team effort and the same co-operation must be directed towards ensuring the rights of accident victims and their families in the aftermath of these tragic events’.

During the first commemorative event conducted in Sri Lanka, Capt. Themiya Abeywickrama, Director General of Civil Aviation said that “in addition to the implementation of International Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPS) on assistance to the aircraft accident victims and their families which is a MUST, and that CAASL looking beyond boundaries to enhance legislations and regulations for fulfillment of victims with what they deserve to further improve care and treatment. 

CAASL has organized a series of commemorative events to increase awareness of consequences on people who suffer from aircraft accidents and their families, the significance of extending required respect for victims and obligation to understand the mental, physical and spiritual well-being of their families.

Henceforth Sri Lanka will make 20th day of February a commemorative day for aircraft accident victims and their families.

The Vice President of Ground Operations of Kuwait based carrier Jazeera Airways, Mr. Naser F. Al-Obaid made a courtesy call on the Director General of Civil Aviation & Chief Executive Officer (DGCA & CEO) Capt. Themiya Abeywickrama at the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka on 08th February 2022. 

The discussions revolved around the Airline’s new business opportunities and the DGCA & CEO positively welcomed their proposals. The DGCA also suggested Jazeera to commence operations to Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA) which is gazetted for all Nine Traffic Freedoms and capable of servicing the largest aircraft in the world and also to start Hub Operations from MRIA to other regional destinations. The Representatives were very keen on the suggestions and agreed to look into them favorably.

Mr. Rethah Al Mousawi, Assistant Vice President of Jazeera Airways, Mr. Ishara Gunawardana, Manager (Air Services & Traffic Rights) and Mr. Chaminda Silva, Local Representatives of Jazeera Airways were also present at the meeting.

The Civil Aviation Training Centre -Sri Lanka, the training division of AASL was rebranded as the “Sri Lanka Airport & Aviation Academy” at a ceremony held on 03rd of August 2021 at the institution’s premises at Ratmalana. The Chief Guest was the State Minister for Aviation and Exports Zones Development Hon. D V Chanaka.

The former Civil Aviation Training Centre is a division of AASL. It is an aviation training institution accredited by ICAO. It is also the only aviation training institution in Sri Lanka approved for conducting training for Air Traffic Controllers.

Chairman of AASL Major General (Rtd.) G A Chandrasiri, the Director General of Civil Aviation, Capt. Themiya Abeywickrama, Additional Director General of CAASL Mr. P A Jayakantha and Senior officers of AASL & CAASL attended this occasion.