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Mr. Rayhan Wanniappa assumes the role of Deputy Director General (Air Transport and Security Regulation) at the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka, effective Thursday, September 7.

Rayhan Wanniappa, an Attorney-at-Law, boasts an extensive career spanning two decades, encompassing both private legal practice and tenures at the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka.

He possesses a broad spectrum of expertise in aviation legislation, the negotiation of bilateral agreements, the formulation of Air Transport Policies, and the management of industry affairs.

With an impressive track record, he has represented Sri Lanka in nearly 200 inter-governmental bilateral air services negotiations, including pivotal contributions to the ICAO Conferences on Air Services Negotiations (ICAN) and negotiations with the European Union. His efforts have successfully secured and expanded traffic rights for Sri Lanka, both domestically and internationally.

Among his notable accomplishments, he orchestrated the ICAN Conference in 2017, presided over the COSCAP-South Asia Steering Committee meeting in 2022, and played a pivotal role in the inaugural Sri Lanka Aviation Day on July 14, 2023, all hosted by the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka.

Notably, he has been a key representative of the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka at several prominent international organizations, including the International Civil Aviation Organization in Montreal and the International Labour Organization in Geneva.

In a significant international engagement, he formed part of the Sri Lanka delegation that attended the Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization in Montreal, Canada, a gathering featuring the participation of nearly 170 states.

His academic achievements include an Advanced Master's degree in Air Transport Management, earned at the French National School of Civil Aviation, where he stood as the representative of his graduating class.

Furthermore, he has served as a visiting lecturer in Commercial and Air Law at the General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University in Ratmalana. He frequently addresses aviation professionals and students on a variety of topics related to the aviation industry.

Beyond his professional pursuits, Mr. Wanniappa is an enthusiastic Toastmaster, frequently delivering speeches at various training programs. His diverse interests extend to travel, sports, and music.



The Aeronautical Authorities of Sri Lanka and United Arab Emirates met recently to enhance the Bilateral Air Services Relationship between the two friendly states. The primary objective of these discussions was to update the existing air service arrangements between the two nations, aligning it with the evolving trends in the global aviation arena. This update aims to enhance and optimize air transport operations between the UAE and Sri Lanka.


The UAE delegation consisted of 23 officials and was headed by Mr. Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, Director General of the General Civil Aviation Authority of the UAE. It also included the UAE Ambassador to Sri Lanka H.E. Mr. Khaled Nasser Al Ameri and officials from the Civil Aviation Authorities of Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah. The Airlines represented from the UAE were Etihad, Fly Dubai, Emirates, and Air Arabia.


The Sri Lanka team was led by Mr. K. D. S. Ruwanchandra, Secretary of the Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Aviation. The Sri Lankan team also comprised of Mr. P. A. Jayakantha, Director General / Chief Executive Officer and Mr. Rayhan Wanniappa -Actg. Deputy Director General from the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka. Also part of the delegation were representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Attorney General's Department. The Airline members were from SriLankan Airlines and Fits Air.


Air Services arrangements hold significant importance in a country's foreign policy and play a crucial role in fostering the growth of Sri Lanka's aviation industry immensely benefitting the national economy. This expansion of the Air Services Arrangement between UAE and Sri Lanka will augur well for Sri Lanka’s Aviation industry in the years to come.


The low Cost Airliner (LCA) will operate scheduled direct flights to Colombo, qualifying itself with the Sri Lanka Civil Aviation technical and operational requirements and meeting with the international safety standards, Passenger comfort etc.

The Government of Sri Lanka encourages more and more foreign airlines to operate to and from Sri Lanka and the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Aviation is responsible for results oriented products through the Civil Aviation authority.

Inspectorate of the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka (CAASL), led by Mr. Saman Gunawwerdena, Deputy Director General (Flight Safety Regulations) comprehensively scrutinized the airliner’s technical and operational qualifications and having been satisfied, given its green light for issuance of Foreign Aircraft Operator certificate   (FAOC).

Accordingly, the Director General of Civil Aviation Sri Lanka, Mr. P A Jayakantha issued the FAOC to the Abu - Dhabi based low cost airliner (LCA), Air Arabia.

The FAOC was presented to the airliner’s Accountable Manager and Sales Manager, Mr. Shibin Nazeem, at the Civil Aviation Authority Head Office recently. Mr. Saman Gunawardena together with Air Arabia’s head of Operations, Mr. Chathuranga Colombage too was associated with the FAOC presentation ceremony.


The newly appointed Executive Committee members of the Sri Lanka Association of Airlines Representatives (SLAAR) called on Mr. P. A. Jayakantha, the Director General of Civil Aviation & Chief Executive Officer (DGCA & CEO) on 18th August 2023 at the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka.

They discussed the current and future airline operations in Sri Lanka and the Officials exchanged their views with DGCA & CEO.

DGCA appreciated the commitment of local representatives towards the betterment of the aviation industry in Sri Lanka in the past and looked forward to their continuous commitment.

Led by Mr. Srimath Fernando as its current president, SLAAR, is an industry association that represents over 35 foreign airlines in the Country that consists of General Sales Agents in the online and offline airlines involved in passenger and cargo business.

SLAAR pledged its commitment towards the betterment of Sri Lanka’s Aviation Industry and shared their plans for the upcoming year.

Mr. Rayhan Wanniappa, Actg. Deputy Director General (Corporate Affairs & Economic Regulations), Mr. Ishara Gunawardena, Manager (Air Services & Traffic Rights) from the CAASL were also present at the meeting.

[Colombo, 17-07-2023] – The Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka (CAASL) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) successfully organized 'Sri Lanka Aviation Day' event on July 14th, 2023, at the Auditorium of the CAASL.

The Chief Guest and Keynote Speaker was the Hon.Nimal Siripala De Silva, Minister of Ports, Shipping Aviation. Mr.Phillip Goh - Regional Vice President of IATA, Mr. K D S Ruwanchandra – Secretary, Minister of Ports, Shipping & Aviation were the other senior dignitaries present along with senior officials from the Airlines, Airport and the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka.

The aviation industry has confronted unprecedented challenges in recent times due to the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The resultant decline in air travel worldwide necessitated a collective effort to rebuild and revitalize the aviation sector. Recognizing this need, 'Sri Lanka Aviation Day' aimed to position the aviation industry for growth and facilitate a vibrant future.

This knowledge sharing event brought together industry leaders, policymakers, and stakeholders to discuss the challenges faced by the aviation industry and identify opportunities for recovery and sustainable growth. The event provided a unique platform for participants to engage in panel discussions, listen to keynote speeches, analyze case studies, and network with fellow professionals. There were 4 panel discussions conducted throughout the day with the participation of both local and foreign speakers & Moderators sharing insights, strategies, and best practices to foster recovery and strengthen the aviation sector in Sri Lanka. The panels were:

Session 1: Navigating the challenges of air travel in a post-pandemic world.

Session 2: Sustainable Aviation in Sri Lanka.

Session 3: Smart airport development and its impact on the air transport industry.

Session 4: Sharing Aviation Safety Information.

We express our heartfelt gratitude to our esteemed partner, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), whose invaluable expertise and insights ensured the event's relevance and impact. Their collaboration with the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka was instrumental in making 'Sri Lanka Aviation Day' a resounding success.

The event's success could not have been achieved without the active participation and support of industry leaders, policymakers, and stakeholders who attended the event. Their commitment and dedication to rebuilding the aviation industry in Sri Lanka is commendable.