Origin of the NGAP Sri Lanka Programme

Origin of the NGAP Sri Lanka Programme

The carrier opportunities as well as general knowledge about the Civil Aviation field in Sri Lanka had been limited to the children of school based in Colombo and the other main cities of my country. 

In other words children at village level had a little or no knowledge about this important field. 

Accordingly, Mr. Chrisanthus Gimhan Dabarera, the officer who was worked as a Civil Aviation Officer of the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka (CAASL) proposed the idea of a tri-lingual Magazine to help raise awareness on awareness on aviation amongst secondary school children, to organize Aviation Awareness Programme in Schools & form an Aviation club in Schools to encourage them to seek employment in the ever growing aviation industry to a group of his co-workers at the CAA, April 2008, as shown below. 

  • Mr. Dev Samarajeewa 
  • Mr. Nilantha Thennakoon
  • Mr. Ravin Thalagala
  • Ms. Dulanjali Mapitiyage 
  • Ms. Chathuri Senarathne
  • Ms. Lakpani Dias 
  • Ms. Sachini Vithana 

This initial idea was presented by Mr. Chrisanthus Gimhan Dabarera with his co-workers to the Chairman of CAASL, Mr. Lal Liyanarachchi and Acting. DGCA Mr. Parakrama Dissanayake & Mr. H.M.C.Nimalsiri ( DGCA & CEO) – Coordinator of COSCAP-SA. 

As a result of these valuable discussions the next step was to form a new Aviation club with in the CAASL to consist with the volunteer Aviation enthusiasm in the CAASL.

The decision was taken to function the Sri Lanka Aviation Club (SLAC) at the 66th Board meeting held on 30 October 2009

The Authority approved Aviation Club to function and conduct necessary programmes in order to meet the objectives of the Club as stated in Note 08/2009/-05.

Then the Sri Lanka Aviation club (SLAC) was formed with the 46 members who are working in the Civil Aviation Authority. The Sri Lanka Aviation Club was selected Mr. Gimhan Dabarera to work as a President of the Sri Lanka Aviation Club and selected Mr. N.H.R. Sagara to work as a Secretary, Mr. Ishara Gunawardhane & Mr. Dev Samarajeewa were selected as an Executive members of the Club.

In year 2009 the club got an opportunity to launched the first Sinhala Aviation Magazine in Sri Lanka which was called “Guwansara” . That name was proposed by Ms. Chathuri Senarathne one of members of the Club. Mr. Dev Samarajeeva was the editor of this Magazine & Mr. Gimhan Dabarara was supported to collect funds from Aviation Industry to print this Magazine & to organize the launching programme of the Magazine with other members of the Club.

The Sri Lanka Aviation Club had been taken contributions from SriLankan Airlines Ltd, Expo Aviation, Deccan Aviation and other stake holders in the industry to publish this historical Magazine.

The club was printed 2000 copies of the Guwansara Magazines and distribute among the secondary schools in Sri Lanka. The Chairman of the CAASL Air Chief Marshal Roshan Gunathilake and the members of the Board of CAASL were impressed with that Magazine and identified the importunacy for the public especially for the School children, then they were decided to allocate funds from CAASL to publish this Guwanasara Magazine by quarterly from the second issue onwards. That was a great achievement received by Sri Lanka Aviation Club as well as the Children of the Country within the limited time of period.

The next step was taken by the Sri Lanka Aviation Club to initiate Aviation Awareness Programme in school level & form Aviation clubs in the schools as their interest. To initiate those activities in schools they have been received the approval of the Ministry of Civil Aviation & Ministry of Education.

Accordingly, the first School Aviation Awareness programme was organized by Sri Lanka Aviation club with the leadership of President of Sri Lanka Aviation Club Mr. Gimhan Dabarera & Executive Member Mr. Dev Samarajeewa. This historical programme was held in month of August 2010 at the Joseph Vass College, Wennappuwa with the participation of the Hon. Dayashitha Thisera, Deputy Minister of Civil Aviation, Mr. H.M.C. Nimalsiri, DGCA & CEO, Mr. P.P.Jayaweera D/CP, Ms. Shermila Magamamudali AD/HR & Capt. Menaka Fernando ( resource person of the programme).

More than 500 students were participated with their teachers representing 46 Advance level Schools in Puthlam district. The students & teachers were commented very positively on this programme & they were determined to form a school Aviation club in their school to increase the interest of Aviation activities among their school children.

After the successful school programme Mr. H.M.C. Nimalsiri, DGCA & CEO was pointed out that this project of school programmes should be formalized within the CAASL. Because it should be easy for the organizing team to organize programmes & continue this valuable national level project continually.

On the suggestion of the DGCA & CEO the President of Sri Lanka Aviation Club Mr. Gimhan Dabarera was discussed with their members of the club & decided to resolve the SLAC according to the provisions stipulated in the constitution of the SLAC to handover their activities to continue under the guidance of the CAASL.

The Board of the CAASL was granted their approval to established a committee named as “ Civil Aviation Development & Education Committee” (CADEC) under the CAASL to execute all the activities done by Sri Lanka Aviation Club.

The decision was taken to established the Civil Aviation Development & Education Committee (CADEC) at the 73rd Board Meeting held on 26 August 2010

At the 66th CAA meeting the Authority approved formation of an Aviation Club. The Aviation Club has started conducting a number of education programmes on civil aviation and consequently the demand for similar activities to be conducted elsewhere in the country have increased. With the spread of work in scope and depth, it is considered necessary to formalise the working arrangements of the Aviation Club, in order that CAA could take the overall responsibility of such work and allocate resources, as required. Therefore, the Authority approved that the Aviation Club (informal arrangement) to be converted into a Committee to be appointed by the CAA and called “Civil Aviation Development and Education Committee (CADEC)” under the powers vested in the CAA in terms of Section 6 of the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka Act No.34 of 2002 to support the execution of its mission. The purposes of the CADEC is to foster development of aviation industry in Sri Lanka by planning, designing, organising and conducting necessary educational, promotional and awareness creating activities and programmes for the general public, aiming especially at the younger generation, thus contributing to the accomplishment of CAA’s mission. Further, the Authority adopted the Policy paper relating to the establishment and operation of the Civil Aviation Development and Education Committee (CADEC).

The members of the CADEC as shown below. 

  • Mr. H.M.C.Nimalsiri, President  
  • Mr. Gimhan Dabarera, Secretary
  • Mr. Dev Samarajeewa, Vice President
  • Mr. Nilantha Thennakoon, Member
  • Mr. Dulanjali Mapitiyage, Member
  • Ms. Manjula Wickramanayake
  • Ms. Chandima Kodithuwakku, Member
  • Mr. Ishara Gunawarhane, Member
  • Mr. Yohan Thennakoon, Member
  • Ms. Gayani Millawithanarachchi, Member
  • Mr. Shehan Wattewawa, Member

Since year 2010 the CADEC has been conducted student Aviation Awareness programme, Principal Awareness Programme, School Aviation clubs programme, Radio Control Model Aircraft Shows, Kite Competition, Hot Air Balloon Shows, Essay Competitions and formed more than 600 school Aviation Clubs around the country. Mr. H.M.C.Nimalsiri, Mr. Parakrama Dissanayke , Mr. P.P.Jayaweera, Capt. Menaka Fernando, Mr. Tilak Dissanayake, Mr. Edward Perera & Mr. Colin Perera were sharing their knowledge & conducting practical sessions voluntarily.

The Secretary of the CADEC Mr. Gimhan Dabarera & the Vice President of the CADEC Mr. Dev Samarajeewa were invited by ICAO to present the activities conducted by the SLAC & CADEC since year 2008 for good example for other countries & they did so.

The Secretary of the CADEC Mr. Gimhan Dabarera & the Vice President of the CADEC Mr. Dev Samarajeewa were invited by ICAO to present the activities conducted by the SLAC & CADEC since year 2008 for good example for other countries & they did so.

In fact, all these CADEC activities were organized by CAASL with the support of National Carrier – SriLankan Airlines Ltd, Aerodrome Operator – Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) Ltd, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Ministry of Education, Aviation Schools and other state holders.

In year 2016, Mr. H.M.C. Nimalsiri, DGCA & CEO felt that these events and programmes should be formalized and joined hands with these related organizations in a strategic way. At the same time it was highlighted that Asia Pacific region had a massive demand for the Aviation Professionals when compared to other regions. In a condition both inside the country and outside the country we identified that wonderful opportunity that was being arisen to initiate the NGAP Sri Lanka programme in the Country.

Mr. H.M.C. Nimalsiri appointed 03 member committee to organize a special programme to launched NGAP Sri Lanka programme officially at the 53rd DGCA Conference in Asia Pacific region at Hilton in August 2016. Mr. Gimhan Dabarera (Chief Organizer of this event) , Mr. Duncun Jayawardane & Mr. Prabath Kularathne. So with that direction of the DGCA the committee had been involved school students & some of the school leavers who were actively contributed for their school Aviation clubs in past years. They were managed to organize the active presentation involving more activities from students within 05 working days, launching of NGAP Sri Lanka web page in the CAASL website & conduct the NGAP Sri Lanka stall actively during the conference period. The NGAP Sri Lanka officially launched at the 53rd DGCA Conference with the presence of ICAO President of the Council, Secretary General, Regional Director Asia Pacific Region, Hon. Minister of Transport & Civil Aviation, Secretary Ministry of Transport & Civil Aviation, Chairman of the CAASL, DGCA & CEO of the CAASL. Mr. Rayhan Wanniappa was the main compeer of the event & Mr. N.Navajeevan was made the PowerPoint presentation & Ms. Lakma Rathnayake was support to coordinate with CAASL website team to made the NGAP Sri Lanka webpage. The special appreciation letters signed by the ICAO President of the Council, Secretary General & DGCA & CEO handover to the chief organizer of this event Mr. Gimahn Dabarera & Master In charge of the Nalanda Aviation College, Colombo Ms. Shiromy Rathnayake for the excellent contribution & dedication to success this event.

This step was more entrusted and strengthened by the ICAO 39th Assembly held in 2016 and CAASL because energized to ahead to popularize this NGAP concept all around the country.

In order to carry out the NGAP Sri Lanka programme strategy around the country it needed a solid team of experts to hold the office to strengthen this. Because this programme consist with the following main features,

  1. Collaboration
  2. Forecasting
  3. Planning
  4. Executing
  5. Monitoring

Therefore, the CAASL was decided to form a national committee named as National Committee of NGAP Sri Lanka consists of,

Regulatory Body – Civil Aviation Authority
Aerodrome Operator – Airport & Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) Ltd
National Carrier – SriLankan Airlines Ltd
ICAO Train Air Plus Membership holders – Civil Aviation Training Centre and SriLankan Aviation College

The entire NGAP Sri Lanka Programme is monitored by an advisory panel consisting with the Chairman, Vice Chairman & the members of the Board of CAASL.

The decision was taken to established the NGAP Sri Lanka Programme at the 132nd Board meeting held on 30th March 2017

Summary of Discussion The National Civil Aviation Policy of Sri Lanka dated December 2016 (final draft) recognizes the importance of trained, qualified, experienced and skilled aviation personnel to steer the activities of the aviation industry. Given the responsibilities of the CAA for the development and maintenance of a sustainable civil aviation system in the country, CAA considers that it is imperative to fall in line with the Next Generation Aviation Professionals (NGAP) Programme of the International Civil Aviation Organization which aims to address the future need of the world civil aviation work force and be alive to the forecasted demand for trained and qualified human resources to the aviation industry.

Studies conducted by the International Civil Aviation Organization forecasts that there will be 25,000 new aircraft added to the global fleet for the period of 2010-2030. This means that 480,000 technicians and 350,000 pilots will be required to maintain and fly these aircraft. As a result, it is estimated that there will a shortage of (-24,978) pilots, (-18,071) maintenance personnel and (-1978) air traffic controllers globally in all ICAO Regions.

The study further states that the Asia and Pacific Region will experience a shortage of (-13,332) pilots, (-14,745) aircraft maintenance personnel and (-1066) air traffic controllers annual with the expansion of the fleet size in the Region.

The NGAP initiative launched by ICAO is to ensure that enough qualified and competent aviation professionals are available to operate, manage and maintain the future international air transport system thus minimizing the shortage of skilled personnel mentioned above. Fleet expansion and addition of personnel also implies that there will be more regulatory personnel necessary as well, to regulate and facilitate the industry.

Exploring the potential benefits of the NGAP initiative, Sri Lanka wishes to work under the NGAP umbrella to train and develop experienced human resources to bridge the shortage that the world will experience in the future. With proper planning, Sri Lanka could also take an economic advantage of the global/regional needs of personnel by initiating action now, to produce as much professionals as possible to join the global/regional work force.

DGCA explained basically how we have developed this with a view to train the required Aviation personnel relating to technical areas. This should be a National Programme, where we could supply Aviation Professionals not only for our requirements, but also for the region. We could earn foreign exchange by offering training courses. To initiate this programme we have appointed a team to be in charge of this exercise. He requested Board Secretary, Mr. Dabarera to explain briefly about the implementation plans of the NGAP Sri Lanka Programme and to provide any information requested by board members. Mr. Daberera did so.

NGAP Sri Lanka Programme National Committee

Members of the First National Committee,

(Ex -Officio)

    1. President to the NGAP Sri Lanka Programme – Mr. H.M.C. Nimalsiri, Director General of Civil Aviation & Chief Executive Officer - CAASL
    2. Vice President to the NGAP Sri Lanka Programme – Mr. Atula Jayawickrama, Additional Director General - CAASL
    3. Secretary to the NGAP Sri Lanka Programme & NGAP National Coordinator – Mr. Gimhan Dabarera, Personnel Assistant to Chairman cum Board Secretary - CAASL
    4. Head of Aviation Academic Development committee - Mr. K.M.M.N. Dissanayake, Director , Research Development Planning & Special Programme - CAASL
    5. Head of Aviation Awareness committee – Mr. Prabhath Kularathna, Assistant Manager, Civil Aviation Promotions - CAASL

(Nominated by DGCA and CEO of CAASL)

  1. Consultant to the NGAP Sri Lanka Programme - Mr. Rayhan Wanniappa, Director, Air Transport & Economic Regulations - CAASL
  2. 7. Assistant Secretary to the NGAP Sri Lanka Programme - Mr. N Navajeevan, Civil Aviation Inspector, Air Traffic Management OPS - CAASL
  3. 8. Head of Aviation Professional Development Committee - Ms. Chanika Manawaduge, Assistant Manager, International Relations - CAASL

Representatives from below institution or organization

  • Rep. of Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) Limited & Rep. of AASL Training Center
    • Mr. Devinda Abayagunawardane
    • Mr. Thivanka Weerasinghe
  • Rep. of Sri Lankan Airlines & Rep. of Sri Lankan Aviation college
    • Mr. Anura Gallella
    • Mr. Sampath Soysa