A delegation of foreign representatives from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) visited Sri Lanka to participate in the conference titled ‘Re-awakening the Civil Aviation Industry of Sri Lanka,’ organized by the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka. During their visit, the delegation met with Nimal Siripala de Silva, the Minister of Ports, Shipping, and Aviation, to discuss the measures taken to revive Sri Lanka’s air transportation sector, which faced significant setbacks due to the Covid-19 pandemic and other economic challenges.
Minister de Silva commended the efforts made by the representatives and acknowledged their role in supporting the restoration of Sri Lanka’s aviation industry. He called upon the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to extend its support for the sustainable development of the country’s aviation sector. The Minister expressed his confidence that collaborative efforts would help identify the existing challenges faced by aviation administrators, policymakers, and other stakeholders.
Philip Goh, IATA’s Regional Vice President for Asia-Pacific, addressed the meeting and provided insights into the current state of international air transportation. Globally, the industry stands at 89%, whereas in the Asia-Pacific region, it is at 69%. Goh emphasized that Sri Lanka has made significant progress in its air transportation sector compared to global and regional standards. He further reiterated IATA’s commitment to fully support the development of Sri Lanka’s aviation industry. Discussions with the Civil Aviation Authority are scheduled in the coming days to explore potential measures and strategies for further advancement.
The Secretary to the Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Aviation, K.D.S. Ruwanchandra, was also present at the discussions, emphasizing the government’s commitment to revitalizing the civil aviation industry and the importance of collaboration with international partners like IATA.
The visit of the foreign delegation from IATA signifies a crucial step in rejuvenating Sri Lanka’s aviation sector, fostering collaboration between industry experts, and paving the way for sustainable growth and recovery.