Prospects for aviation hub: Hear what the experts have to say

Monday, 24 February 2014 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Daily FT-Colombo Uni MBA Alumni Association’s Five Hubs Forum tomorrow End of the war in Sri Lanka brought about freedom in the air as well and given the country’s attractiveness as a tourist destination and the strategic location, aviation promises to be an industry with great potential. The Cabinet last week approved phase two of the Bandaranaike International Airport under Japanese funding. Last year BIA handled its highest ever passenger and aircraft traffic whilst the country received a record tourist arrivals too. The June 2013 opening of the international airport in Mattala, Hambantota was another major step by the Government as part of its vision to develop and position Sri Lanka as an aviation hub. Several other domestic airports are slated for development in addition to developing new ones. With the target of luring 2.5 million tourists by 2016 and developing a plethora of aviation and related industries, this sector is expected to see a high intensity of business in the future. So far entry of the private sector in to aviation has been less than desired but that explains some of the issues faced by the sector. To shed more insights into the new opportunities as well as challenges, the full day forum on five hubs organised by the Daily FT and the Colombo University MBA Alumni Association tomorrow at Hilton Colombo will dedicate a one hour session on the aviation hub from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The session on aviation will be preceded by the maritime hub session. Civil Aviation Ministry Secretary Dr. Ravindra Ruberu will be the main presenter of the aviation hub session. He will outline the success/progress so far of the maritime hub strategy, on-going measures and the medium and long plans for the future. An expert panel from the public and private sector will join him to shed further insights as well as respond to questions from the participants.  The panel includes Airport and Aviation Sri Lanka Chairman Prasanna Wickramasuriya, SriLankan Airlines Chief Marketing Officer G.T. Jeyaseelan, Cinnamon Air Director Romesh David and Emirates Airline Sri Lanka and Maldives Area Manager Chandana de Silva. The five hubs forum will be kicked off by Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa at 8:30 a.m., and keynote will be by Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal whilst Special Guest P. Tewari Head, Competitive Industries Global Practice, The World Bank Group, Singapore will also make a presentation. For registration/tickets for the aviation hub session or full day forum which also focuses on other hubs – maritime, commercial + tourism, knowledge and energy, please contact Shanthini on 0766869269. Tickets available at No. 26B, Retreat Road (adjoining Holy Family Convent), Bambalapitiya from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Email: manage[email protected].