May 05, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lank has suspended operation of all pilotless aircraft including drones due to the volatile situation in the country.
"Pursuant to Section 80 of the Civil Aviation Act No. 14 of 2010, an aircraft capable of being flown without a pilot shall not be operated within the territory of Sri Lanka, except under the authority and in accordance with the terms and conditions of a special permit issued by the Director General of Civil Aviation for that purpose and on the payment of the prescribed fee," a statement issued by H.M.C. Nimalsiri, Director General of Civil Aviation and Chief Executive Officer of Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka said.
Director General of Civil Aviation under the powers vested in him in terms of Section 121 of the Act has issued Implementing Standards No. SLCAIS-53 titled "Requirements for Operation of Pilotless Aircraft (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Unmanned Aircraft Systems/Remotely Piloted Aircraft/Drones)" specifying the requirements to be satisfied for issue of a permit and the terms and conditions applicable for operation of pilotless aircraft including Drones in Sri Lanka.
However, taking into consideration of the current security situation of the country, Director General of Civil Aviation in terms of the powers vested in him under Section 38 of the Act has suspended the validity of any permit that has been issued by him for operation of pilotless aircraft with immediate effect until further notice.
Accordingly, members of the Public are hereby informed that any person operating a pilotless aircraft of any description including drones without a valid permit issued by Director General of Civil Aviation can be taken into custody by the Police under Section 107 of the Civil Aviation Act No. 14 of 2010 without a warrant. Such a person shall be guilty of an offence under Section 103 of the Act and on conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding the equivalent in Sri Lanka Rupees of twenty-five thousand SDR (approximately Rs. 6,300,000) or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to both such fine and imprisonment.