Cabinet okays sea plane services
Aug 18, 2012
Government had decided to go ahead with the earlier plan to introduce sea plane services across the country and the Cabinet had already approved a proposal to use 17 major rivers in the country for the purposes.

This Cabinet paper 2012/17 which had been presented by Minister of Civil Aviation Priyankara Jayaratne had been approved by the Cabinet on June 29 this year under which sea planes would be allowed to land in 17 rivers.

According to this proposal a Committee appointed to look into the matter under a proposal by the Ministry of Irrigation and Water Management approved by the Cabinet in 2011 had decided that sea planes would be allowed to land on 17 rivers and tanks in the country during the first phase.

This Committee was headed by the Secretary Ministry of Irrigation and Water Management and comprises of the Secretary Ministry of Civil Aviation, a representative from the ministry of Economic Development, one representative from the Tourism Authority and also representatives of provincial councils.

According to a decision made at this committee MoUs would be signed between the Civil Aviation Authority and institutions which manage the rivers and tanks.

As per the Cabinet paper Rs 500 would be charged from each Sea plane that landed during the first year while it would be increased up to Rs 1000 in the second year. Other private sector companies that are interested in having domestic airline service would be allowed to use the rivers and tanks in addition to Sri Lankan Airlines which is already conducting an air taxi service.

It had also been decided that the revenue that would be collected would be used for the development of communities that lived in the areas where the rivers would be used.

Source: Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka