Oct 08, Colombo: Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation of Sri Lanka, Arjuna Ranatunga and Sri Lanka's High Commissioner to Canada, Asoka Girihagama attended the 40th Session of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Assembly held from 24 September to 04 October 2019 in Montreal, Canada with a delegation of senior officials from Sri Lanka.
In his address at the Plenary on 28 September 2019, Minister Ranatunga, the leader of the Sri Lanka delegation stated that significant progress had been made in the field of aviation in Sri Lanka.
Minister Ranatunga said the Government of Sri Lanka had finalized a new National Civil Aviation Policy referred to as the NCAP in March of 2019 and also noted that the ICAO Global Regional Air Navigation Plan would be used as the basis for planning, designing, equipping and managing Sri Lanka's airspace.
The Minister stated that Sri Lanka had achieved result well above the global average in the ICAO Safety Oversight Audit in both 2010 and 2018 and that the consistency in safety oversight was a result of the ongoing commitment of the Government of Sri Lanka, the Ministry of Civil Aviation and other stakeholders. He also referred to the 10th ICAN Conference in 2017 which was hosted by Sri Lanka and the 53rd DGCA's Conference of the Asia Pacific region in 2016. Sri Lanka had ratified the Montreal Convention in 2018.
Minister Ranatunga outlined Sri Lanka's vision to expand tourism with the addition of a new airport in the Northern Province of the country which is in the process of being built. He stated that that the 'Jaffna International Airport' would boost regional connectivity and expressed hope that operations at the airport would commence in October 2019. The Minister also noted that it would be momentous occasion in the history of Sri Lanka's aviation as this Airport was first built by the Royal Air Force during World War II.
The Minister held meetings with the Minister of State for Civil Aviation (India) Hardeep Singh Puri, Vice Minister of Transport of South Korea Kyungwook Kim and the Minister of Economy and Chairman of the United Arab Emirates Civil Aviation Authority Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansoori, on the sidelines of the sessions.
The Sri Lanka High Commission in Ottawa coordinated the visit of the Minister and the delegation.
The Sri Lanka delegation included Director General and Chief Executive Officer, Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka H. M. Chandrasena Nimalasiri, Chairman, Airport Company Dammika Ranatunga, Director (Aviation), Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation Awanthi Senaratne, Head of Airport Training Athula Seneviratne and Personal Assistant to the Minister Asantha Perera. (Media Release)