A stakeholder meeting was held on 7th September 2020 at BIA Air Cargo Village with the participation of Hon. D V Chanaka, State Minister of Civil Aviation and Export Zone Development, Major General (Rtd) G. A. Chandrasiri, Chairman AASL, Mr. Rajeewasiri Sooriyaarachchi, Vice Chairman-AASL, Mr.Aruna Warushahennadige, Director - AASL, Mr.Shehan Sumanasekara, Director - AASL, Ministry Officials, Senior Officials of Airport & Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) Limited, Sri Lankan Airlines, Civil Aviation Authority (CAASL), BIA Cargo Handlers, Freight Forwarders and other BIA Stakeholders.                             

The objective of the meeting was to discuss the strategic direction of AASL for long term planning requirements for cargo expansion and development at BIA. The State Minister together with the senior management of Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) Limited elaborated on the strategic development plan of the upcoming Air Cargo Terminal at BIA.

Being strategically positioned in the Indian ocean between the commercial centers of the East and West, Airport & Aviation Services ( Sri Lanka) Limited provides 24/7 services at the Air Cargo terminal at BIA. Facilitating international trade, BIA provides cargo handling services with a capacity of 250,000 MT per annum and a dedicated, well-trained & qualified team. AASL is in the process of constructing a new cargo import terminal and cargo village gateway entrance building with state of the art facilities. Along with the expansion that is underway, the air cargo terminal will undoubtedly play a key role in supporting the needs and demands of the industry.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, BIA continues to support the exports as well imports and transshipments playing a key role in supporting the needs of the industry. Accordingly, BIA handled 46,974 MT of cargo during the period March to July 2020. Further, during the COVID-19 global pandemic situation, there is a significant growth of exporting perishable cargo from BIA to international markets.  

Addressing the gathering Minister discussed the pressing issues encountered by cargo handlers and freight forwarders at BIA and the chairman of AASL explained the new measures taken to strengthen the security aspects of all cargo export process.  

Furthermore, State Minister along with the officials had a site inspection to BIA cargo village & during the visit, the State Minister observed the facilities and key operational areas to be improved as immediate solutions to facilitate effective and efficient cargo moments at BIA.
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