Civil Aviation activities in Sri Lanka have been subjected to the formal governmental regulation since February 1946 with the creation of a Department of Civil Aviation and appointment of Mr.L.S.B.Perera, CCS as the Director of Civil Aviation with a Chief clerk, three other clerks and an office orderly to assist.
The Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) was initially housed in a building in the premises of the Department of Public Works (presently known as Trans Works House at the Lotus road), which was used at the time as a garage and store. With some modification to the building, the DCA occupied that building until 1994 when it was shifted to the part of the Republic Building at No,18, Sir Baron Jayathilake Mawatha in Fort.
It was then shifted to “Supreme” Building at No.64, Galle Road, Colombo 03 in 1997. Consequent to the split of the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism into two separate Ministries, the DCA had to shift its office to a building at No.29, Galle Face Terrace in the year 2000. In the year 2001, the DCA went back to its former residence at No.64, Galle Road, Colombo 03.
Initially the DCA was entrusted to perform all activities relating to civil aviation including operation of commercial air services. With the establishment of Air Ceylon under the Air Ceylon Act, the functions relating to operation of commercial air services were separated from the DCA in 1952. In 1978, the Government established the Airports Authority for the development, operation and maintenance of airports and such functions were separated from the DCA. In 1982, the Government established a wholly government owned limited liability company as an Agent of the Government, named 'Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) Ltd.' and transferred to it all operational activities relating to provision of airports, air navigation facilities and services. DCA was confined only to the provision of regulatory services. In 1997, consequent to a recommendation made by ICAO of the need of strengthening the state machinery for effective discharge of safety and security oversight responsibilities of Sri Lanka. the Government decided to abolish the DCA and establish in lieu, the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka.
The following personnel served the DCA as the Head of the Department since inception.
|Capt.D.Kotalawala (Departmental Service)||1954||1956|
|Mr.W.L.P.de Mel (CCS)||1961||1971|
|Mr.Milton Aponso (SLAS)||1971||1975|
|Capt.C.H.S. Amarasekara (Departmental Service)||1976||1976|
|Mr.Mervin Perera (SLAS)||1978||1978|
|Mr.M.L.U.de S.Malalgoda (SLAS) (DGCA)||1985||1997|
|Mr.Lal Liyanaarachchi (SLAS)||1997||2002|
|Mr.H.M.C.Nimalsiri (Departmental Service)||2002||26.12.2002|