Sri Lanka aviators call for greater freedom of the skies

Sept 29, 2007 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s aviation professionals are calling for practical security rules and an enlightened approach by authorities to prevent a once high flying sector from going completely off radar. The Indian Ocean island’s aviation sector is now strangled in security regulations where even a little child is not allowed to fly a model airplane, a far cry from a country that imported its first aircraft in 1911.

Though the first powered, controlled manned free and sustained flight of a heavier-than-air craft took place in 1903 it was not widely know until 1908 when the Wright brothers demonstrated one of their later machines in France.

Louis Blériot flew his Bleriot XI across the English Channel in 1908.

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“We had our first airplane imported to Ceylon in 1911 by a guy called Collin Brow,” says Gihan Fernando, an international airline pilot who had been flying for 39 years.

He is one of the promoters of the Sri Lanka Aeronautical Society (SLAeS) which has been formed recently.

After World War II people who joined military service came back and helped start Air Ceylon.

“This airline was able to fly a twin-engined DC 03 to London and Australia,” s