SriLankan Airlines’ ground handling operations at Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) have been awarded the prestigious IATA Safety Audit for Ground Operations (ISAGO) certification for two more years.
SriLankan Airlines became the sixth airline in the world and the first in South Asia to be awarded ISAGO certification two years ago, which is presented by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the industry’s global governing body.
ISAGO is the globally accepted industry best practices programme for airport ground handling operations.
“SriLankan Airlines has always played an important role in supporting the country’s aviation industry, and we have refocused our efforts on service at BIA at this time in the country’s history, with the economy expanding and tourist arrivals growing rapidly,” SriLankan’s Head of Service Delivery, Captain Milinda Ratnayake, said.
The country’s tourism industry is booming as travellers around the world rediscover the island known as Paradise. Tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka have already set an all-time record of 600,000 for 2010, and the Government has declared a target of 2.5 million tourists annually from 2016.
SriLankan’s Manager Airport Service Delivery, Ajith Fernando, said: “ISAGO is an important qualification which demonstrates to the world that the practices followed by ground handling services in any particular airport are among the finest in the world. We underwent a stringent audit by IATA’s auditors prior to the recertification.”
The Government’s intention is transform Sri Lanka into a hub for aviation in the region. BIA, already the finest airport in the region with its modern aerobridges, plush lounges and well-stocked duty free collection, is presently in the midst of a major programme to expand and upgrade its facilities.
A second international airport is now under construction at Mattala in the southern Hambantota District, and is scheduled to be commissioned in 2012.
SriLankan is the sole ground handler at BIA, and provides all types of services for every airline that operates there including passenger handling, cargo handling, and activities around aircraft, plus services for charters and privately owned aircraft. The certification runs up to 14th December 2012, after which it would be recertified subject to another audit.