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Thu, 24 April 2014 14:51:30
Sri Lankan aviation engineers eye emerging opportunities
04 Oct, 2007 18:55:36
Oct 04, 2007 (LBO) – The boom in civil aviation especially in the Asian region is opening up vast opportunities for professionals, especially in engineering, in Sri Lanka, a senior airline official said.
Eardley Abayaratna, manager, technical services of the engineering arm of the national carrier Sri Lankan Airlines, said the rapid rate at which the world's airlines were ordering new aircraft would generate an equally large requirement for skilled manpower and support infrastructure and services.

"All this expansion generates the need for facility requirements in the region," he told the inaugural meeting of the newly formed Sri Lanka Aeronautical Society (SLAeS) on Sunday.

"The aviation boom offers many opportunities – big time."

The manpower requirements were huge and aviation was attractive as a career for young people as it is the most technologically advanced field.

Anti-skid systems and automatic navigation systems now being used in cars came from the aviation industry where they have been long used, Abayaratna said.

Likewise, in materials sciences, composites now being used in racing cars and tennis rackets were used in aviation for a very long time.

There were also plenty of opportunities for maintenance and the demand for certified technicians from airlines was growing rapidly as their salaries were lower than that of engineers and they were easier to train.

Explaining the benefits of a career in aviation, Abayaratna said: "It's an exciting job with never a dull moment."

Working for airlines also offered many privileges: "You work for an airline, you get to see the world."

It also offered plenty of training opportunities along with good remuneration.

The developing aviation boom was opening up plenty of opportunities for aviation and engineering professionals especially in outsourced activities for airlines and lessors and lessees of aircraft,

This was driven by the need to meet tough aviation safety standards, Abayaratna said.

Aircraft maintenance programmes offers opportunities for engineering professionals to form companies to provide services to airlines, he said.

"Airlines do the flying while maintenance is outsourced," Abayaratna said.

There were also emerging opportunities for consultation for project management and equipment acquisition.

Entrepreneurs and businessmen also have opportunities to invest in aviation.

"Many people with capital have not looked at aviation because it is a specialised business,” Abayaratna said.

"We professionals can have partnerships with businessmen."

There were opportunities for providing support services in activities like wheels and brakes overhaul, seats overhaul, cabin refurbishment and composite repairs

"Any activity that's labour intensive, we have a cost advantage," Abayaratna said. "Activities that need high skills and literacy levels – we have the people."

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