Landside terror attacks, drones, MH370 to figure at aviation regulator meet in Sri Lanka

ECONOMYNEXT – Civil aviation regulators from Asia Pacific countries will grapple with growing terror attacks on airports, threats from proliferating remotely piloted drones and airspace capacity at a forum in Sri Lanka in August, officials said.

Recent attacks in Brussels and Turkey has shown that threats on the so-called landside areas of airports are escalating, Sri Lanka’s Director General of Civil Aviation H M C Nimalsiri said.

Already access to the ‘airside’ of airports as well as aircraft themselves are tightly controlled, but recent attacks were made near the entrance of airports.

In many countries, remotely piloted craft or drones were also proliferating.

"This is almost becoming a threat to people’s lives and how to manage this will be discussed," Nimalsiri said.

The mysterious crash of MH370 aircraft which apparently flew on for thousands of miles, as well as the MH60 crash which involves while overflying a conflict zone will be part of the agenda.

Expanding civil aviation sector has raised questions over airspace capacity. In the next 15 years, the requirement number of licensed pilots is expected to grow to 1.2 million from 600,000 at the moment, Nimalsiri.

Maintainance technicians are expected to also double to about 1.5 million over the next 15 years, the highest growth seen by the industry in its history.

"There is a need to expand airspace to accommodate higher volumes of aircraft," Nimalsiri said.

Sri Lanka is hosting the 53rd Conference of the Directors General of Civil Aviation of the Asia and Pacific Region from August 01 to 05in Colombo.





Over 300 foreign delegates from 31 countries and representative of the Federal Aviation Administration and the European Aviation Safety Agency will participate, Civil Aviation Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said.

The President of the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization and its Secretary General will also attend. Sri Lanka last hosted the forum in 1990. (Colombo/July28/2016)

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