ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, October 15, 2006
Vol. 41 - No 20
Financial Times

CAA to develop ‘Ruhunu Open Skies’

By Duruthu Edirimuni

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), is preparing to start work in areas demarcated in the south for the development of domestic civil aviation under the ‘Ruhunu Open Skies’, project.

“Also known as ‘Southern Free Skies’, this project aims to enhance the wide spectrum of aviation activity dedicated to the southern of Sri Lanka and could be taken in its entirety as a basic framework to develop aviation in the region,” Wing Commander Sunil Cabraal, Assistant Director Aviation told The Sunday Times FT, adding that this project would be launched on November 16.

He said this involves a proposal to develop a coastal belt from Kalutara to Arugam Bay in Pottuvil and the adjacent 200 nautical miles Maritime Economic Zone, adding that this area is encompassed by Kalutara, Neboda, Elpitiya, Akuressa, Panamurre, Balangoda, Kirigalpotta mountain peak, Haputale, Ella, Haliella, Lunugala, Weerawila, Yala and a line from a point of one nautical mile inland at Yala to one nautical mile inland at Potuvil to the coast. “This area can accommodate a wide range of aviation activity from flying schools, hang gliding, para gliding, para jumping, sail para flying, ballooning, float plane operations, micro-light and ultra light aircraft, model air craft and kites,” he added.

He said the direct and indirect economic advantages to the state and the region, with sustainable employment of quality, of which the southern rural population is very much deprived of at present, will be the 'hallmark' objective that is achieved via the medium of aviation.

“With this project there will be a huge technological advancement and the development of the quality of life of the people of the south will be elevated,” he added.

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Copyright 2006 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.