AASL Successfully Hosts the CANSO Asia Pacific Conference in Sri Lanka

20 May 2014

Airport & Aviation Services Ltd. (AASL) the national air navigation service provider in Sri Lanka successfully hosted the Asia Pacific Conference of the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO) for 2014 in Colombo 5th to 7th May. 

CANSO is the global voice of air navigation service providers (ANSPs) worldwide. It plays a critical and collective role in coordinating the efforts of ANSPs to ensure the safety and efficiency of air transport worldwide. CANSO Memberssupport over 85% of world air traffic. It also has an extensive network of Associate Members drawn from across the aviation industry. 

The conference was the first of its kind ever to be hosted in Sri Lanka and was also the first occasion that witnessed the convergence of a large number of ANSP organisations to Colombo.

The theme of this year’s conference was “Enabling Safe and Sustainable Air Transport Growth in the Asia - Pacific”. The choice of this theme was motivated by the predicted growth in air transport in the Asia - Pacific Region which has been recognised by the aviation industry as a development that brings both challenges and opportunities. 

The conference attracted over 148 delegates from 48 organisations including ANSPs from across the region, as well as airlines, air navigation services (ANS) equipment manufacturers and other aviation industry partners. Mr. Jeff Poole, Director General CANSO, Mr. Yap Ong Heng, Chairman, Asia-Pacific CANSO CEO Committee and Director General of CAAS, Mr. Arun Mishra, Regional Director ICAO, and Mr. Hai Eng Chiang, Director, CANSO Asia-Pacific were among the dignitaries who attended the conference. 

The Cinnamon Grand, Colombo was the venue for the conference. AASL, itself a CANSO Member, worked hand in hand with CANSO to make the conference a success. On the evening of 5th May, a welcome reception was hosted jointly by CANSO and AASL where the delegates had a thoroughly enjoyable evening with a taste of Sri Lankan culture and cuisine.

On the morning of 6th May, the Conference was officially inaugurated by Sri Lanka’s Minister of Civil Aviation Hon. Piyankara Jayaratne and Deputy Minister Hon. Gitanjana Gunawardena, was also present. Secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation Dr. Ravindra Ruberu,Chairman Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka General Rohan Daluwatta, and Director General of Civil Aviation Sri Lanka Mr. H M C Nimalsiri were among the distinguished guests. Chairman AASL Mr. Prasanna Wickramasuriya, Vice Chairman AASL Mr. Kamal Ratwatte, Executive Director AASL Mr. Johanne Jayaratne and other members of the Board of Directors of AASL were present, representing the host organisation. International airline representatives in Sri Lanka, domestic airline operators and representatives of the tourism industry were also among those who were present for the inauguration. 

Chairman Airport & Aviation Services Mr. Prasanna Wickramasuriya, who spearheaded the hosting of the event, delivered the welcome address, emphasising the need for CANSO Members in the region to work together and share their knowledge and experience when meeting the regional challenges. Mr. Jeff Poole Director General of CANSO outlined the importance of aviation to the economies of the Asia-Pacific region and said that the future prosperity of the region will depend on its ability to handle the projected traffic growth. Mr. Yap Ong Heng, Chairman, Asia Pacific CANSO CEO Committee and Dirctor General CAAS and Mr. Arun Mishra, Regional Director ICAO also spoke at the inauguration ceremony. 

The conference had three sessions facilitated by Mr. Hai Eng Chiang Director CANSO Asia Pacific,who was instrumental in organising the event. Mr. Johanne Jayaratne, Executive Director AASL,who played a pivotal role in collaboration with CANSO for hosting the event in Colombo, was a speaker at the first session. The other speakers at this session were Ms. Margaret Staib, CEO Airservices Australia, Mr. Soh PohTheen, Assistant Director General, Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore and Mr. Ken Mclean, Regional Director Safety and Flight Operations - Asia-Pacific, IATA. The speakers at the other sessions were Mrs. Teri Bristol, Chief Operating Officer, FAA/ATO, Mr. Masashi Omoda, Director General of Air Naigation Services, JCAB, Mr. Tinnagorn Choowong, Vice-President ATM, AEROTHAI, Mr. Ed Sims, CEO, Airways New Zealand, Mr. Charles Lee, Director, ANWS, AVM Mahmud Hussain, Chairman, Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh, and Mr. Ted Pakii, CEO, PNG Air Services Ltd. 

On the evening of 6th May, Airport & Aviation Services hosted the delegates for dinner at the Waters Edge. The evening was full of glamour and glitter with the touch of Sri Lankan hospitality. 

On 7th May, CANSO held two parallel workshops on runway safety and collaborative ATM. In the evening the delegates were taken on a tour of the city of Colombo by AASL. 

On 8th May, AASL took the delegates on a visit to the newly commissioned Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport at Hambantota. Sri lankan Airlines flew the delegates from BIA to MRIA and back. At MRIA the delegates disembarked into a warm reception by the airport staff. They were later taken on a tour of the Udawalawe Elephant Transit Home, and the city of Hambantota. It was indeed a memorable occasion for them. 

The delegates expressed the opinion that the conference was very informative and gave the opportunity for them to learn from each other and share knowledge. 

Asia Pacific

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