Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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Why did Dhammika Perera visit BIA amid Dollar Crisis?

Business excellence Dhammika Perera attended a meeting at the Katunayake Bandaranaike International Airport this (20) morning, and SJB MP Asok Abeysinghe, who is a former State Minister of Transport Civil Aviation, questioned his visit in Parliament today. Certain media reports claimed that his visit was a part of his plan to purchase the BIA.

However, LNW learned that Mr. Perera joined the BIA meeting to seek the views of the Private Sector on some of the essential development initiatives to be carried out at the Airport in connection with the development of the Tourism Industry, a key area with which Sri Lanka is supposed to recover from the dollar crisis befallen the island nation.

The DP Education Co-Founder also revealed that three main issues pertaining to the matter was discussed at the meeting.

Increase the number of aircrafts that can land at BIA within 24 hours

Even when the country’s Tourism Industry was at its peak in 2018, only 94 aircrafts were able to land at the BIA in 24 hours. The meeting discussed the shortcomings that need to be addressed to increase the number of aircrafts to 250.

Attract more budget airlines (low cost carriers) to operate to Sri Lanka

Generally, by international standards, a budget airline flight should be able to return within 25 minutes of arrival at the international airport. However, according to the current situation at the BIA, it will take about 40 minutes to complete the operation. Therefore the meeting discussed measures to be taken to reduce the additional 15 minutes.

Convert the VIP Lounge and its boarding gates at BIA to normal operations

The VIP lounge at the BIA is currently being used mostly by MPs and Ministers, leaving the terminal empty without use in most cases, considered of which suggestions and ideas were exchanged on how to facilitate passengers during their arrival and departure from the terminal by charging US$ 300 per passenger.

These concerns have been brought to attention at the recent Cabinet meeting and the Ministers have even appointed a committee to seek the views of the Private Sector in this regard, Perera told LNW, adding that he as well as a number of Private Sector business figures and government officials were present at the meeting held at the BIA.

Mr. Perera also debunked the speculations that an unrest situation had occurred at the premises, revealing that all stakeholders to the event have cordially exchanged their views at this successful meeting.

He also reminded that in his 2019 Dialogue Policy Paper titled ‘Sri Lanka 2030 A Developed Nation’ proposals are made to develop the Civil Aviation Sector in Sri Lanka and that in order to achieve the target of attracting an annual incoming of 05 million tourists, the BIA must be upgraded as demonstrated above.

MIAP

Read Perera’s Sri Lanka 2030 A Developed Nation

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