Written by Staff Writer
08 Jul, 2019 | 9:08 pm
COLOMBO (News 1st) – A special-purpose aircraft landed at the Bandaranaike International Airport last Saturday(July 06).
The Basler BT-67 aircraft from Spectrum Air, ZS-ASN is fitted with one of the advanced fixed-wing airborne systems capable of ground surveying and has the ability to simultaneously map shallow and deep features up to 1000m.
State Minister of Transport Civil Aviation expressed his views regarding the arrival of the aircraft.
Ashok Abeysinghe, State Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation noted that this was a basic aircraft that travels from Mumbai to Indonesia and it has landed for fuel and to check for technical faults. Minister added that this was completely a normal procedure. He went on to note that the South African crew of three who arrived on the plane are resting at the Taj Samudra hotel. He said that actually, the landing was a blessing following the April attacks. He further noted that the aircraft has not violated any rules or regulations in the landing and the crew has provided valid visas for landing. He added that the aircraft is scheduled to leave on July 9th.
The Minister denied that any geography surveillance equipment was on board and that it was inspected thoroughly.
However, when the News 1st reached the Director-General of the Civil Aviation Authority, H.M.C.Nimalasiri on the matter he claimed that the aircraft was not inspected and the assurance of no equipment on board was solely based on the documents provided by the crew.
UPFA MP, Kanaka Herath noted that despite minister’s claims on inspections, until 3.30 pm today(July 08) authorization was not granted to inspect the aircraft.
He added that their excuse to land is humorous as “what kind of a technical fault takes three days to be repaired?”
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