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Stringent security measures continued at the BIA

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Upul Dharmadasa Chairman of Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka

Most stringent security measures that have been in place since April 2019 at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) and all other civil airports, following the Easter Sunday terrorist attacks, are being continued and are implemented amidst curfew being enforced to control the spreading of Coronavirus (COVID – 19)  pandemic  in the society.

The BIA is fully operational, though restrictions are in place for passenger traffic which, there again, is a measure taken to control the spreading of COVID – 19 pandemic.

The Airport & Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) Ltd., (AASL), the airport operator is also the designated statutory service provider who is mandatorily charged with the provision of Aeronautical Services, such as Search, Rescue and Firefighting, Aviation Security and Air Traffic Services.

Formerly the airport security division charged with aviation security functions and the full compliment consist of AASL, Sri Lanka Army, Navy, Air Force, and Police backed by the State Intelligence Service. SriLankan Airlines as the National Carrier has a major security responsibility for securing its own assets, airline operations and that of the customer airlines, in its capacity as the sole Ground Handling Agent at BIA. The other entities concerned with or responsible for the implementation of its provisions are Sri Lanka Customs, Department of Immigration & Emigration, Postal Department, Health & Quarantine and Airport tenants. All these organizations and its personnel strictly observe the responsibilities assigned to them in the National Civil Aviation Security Programme (NCASP), thus contributing to the total security at the Airport, regulated by the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka.   

Major General (rtd.) G A Chandrasiri, newly appointed Chairman, for the Airport & Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) Ltd., with his years of experience, has sooner recognized the need for an upgraded security operation center , electronic security surveillance system, screening equipment and planning for security contingency exercises at BIA with close co-ordination of the Civil Aviation Authority, Ministries of Tourism & Aviation, Defence and Finance and the Stakeholders for seamless security consideration. The Chairman also heads the Airport Security Committee.

Issuing a Media Release, Upul Dharmadasa the Chairman, Civil Aviation Authority, states to wit, “Upon my appointment, I have reviewed the current security programme in consultation with security experts including Deputy Director Genaral Aviation Security Regulation, Mr. P.A. jayakantha who is also an ICAO Auditor  and find it to be in order and meets both the international standards and national requirements.  I wish to offer my gratitude to each and every individual in our security system for the yeoman services that they are rendering at this moment of time, under trying conditions”.    

The designated  appropriate authority for aviation security in srilanka is Director General of Civil Aviation (Government Agent for National Aviation Security, stipulated in the Civil Aviation Act, Act No. 14 of 2010). The post holder Capt. Themiya Abeywickrama noted that “regulatory oversight functions on security and safety are being carried out and shall not be compromised notwithstanding the general restrictions applicable to person-movement. I appeal to all stake holders; DO NOT DROP THE GUARD, your services are well recognized and dividends are forthcoming. Maintain the world ranking that you have already achieved and keep the Flag Flying”.

All major security decisions are taken at the National Civil Aviation Security Committee (NCASC) which is headed by the Secretary to the Ministry of Defence and at a time of national crisis the supreme body for the national security is the Ministry of Defence. The NCASC was installed in Sri Lanka in the year 2001.

Queries, if any, may be directed to the Deputy Director General Security Regulation, of the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka, P A Jayakantha – Contact No. 077 352 0586, e-mail < ddgavsr@caa.lk> . Would be pleased to provide information strictly on Need to Know basis, noted in the Media Release.

Upul Dharmadasa Chairman, Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka