CAA sets record straight on landing of civilian aircraft at BIA

Wednesday, 10 July 2019 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) yesterday issued a statement setting the record straight on the landing of a civilian aircraft at the Bandaranaike International Airport.

It said the attention of this Authority is drawn to a few recent media reports raising some speculations on the arrival of a private aircraft at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA); hence the following clarification for information of members of the public.

The aircraft of type HC-47 Skytrain bearing South African Registration Number ZS-ASN and operated by M/s Spectrum Air Proprietary Ltd., Aviation Services Management, Dubai in UAE, has made a technical stop at BIA on 6 July 2019 during its ferry flight from Indonesia to Mumbai, with prior approval from the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka, which was granted in close co-ordination with the Sri Lanka Air Force which issues Air Defence Clearance. The purpose of the flight is crew rest and refuelling. Total persons on board the aircraft were three and there is no equipment used for any surveying purpose, as declared by the operator in its application. The aircraft has commenced its journey from Broome in Australia and traversed via Bale, Palembang and Banda Ache of Indonesia to Colombo. Although the operator had initially planned to fly to Mumbai on 9 July 2019, its revised itinerary is to operate the aircraft to Lanseria in South Africa via Male, Seychelles, Pemba and Beira without any change in the date of departure from Colombo.

This kind of propeller aircraft which mimics the performance of Dakota DC-3 aircraft, operated by ‘Air Ceylon’ long years back, is not capable of flying long oceanic routes without landing at an intermediate point. Furthermore, Colombo Air Traffic Control has confirmed that the aircraft had flown on established air routes in compliance with the instructions issued by them under the positive control and surveillance of Colombo Radar.