‘Surrendering of airline’s internationally recognised certificate affected maintenance’

The surrendering of an internationally recognised certificate given to SriLankan Airlines had caused for the limitation of the large scale (heavy) maintenance of aircraft since 2017, said Anura Bandara Gallella, Manager, Training and Standards of Sri Lankan Airlines testified before the commission yesterday.

He was giving evidence before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) on SriLankan Airlines yesterday,

“SriLankan Airlines received the certificate issued by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in 2007, which allows the Airline to conduct mainly the Base Maintenance, Line Maintenance, and Workshop Maintenance by them. The companies registered under them should meet their standards and regulations and the EASA constantly supervises them through audits,” Gallella said.

“One of the findings that were pointed out by the EASA in December 2014 was that the Base Maintenance Hanger known as the 747 hanger of the airline was not equipped with a hanger door,” he said.

The witness said that the installation of a hanger door was very expensive and airline was in a poor financial situation by then.

However, the witness told the Commission that the EASA even after an audit conducted in June 2017 was not fully satisfied with the conduct of the airline in meeting their standards that had been changed by them time to time. “Therefore, the EASA and the airline had discussions and later came to a conclusion to surrender the maintenance certificate until the standards are met by the SriLankan. This was only for the base maintenance but not for the line and workshop maintenance. This was caused to limit such maintenance that required the EASA approval, the witness said.

“The witness told that the hanger door was installed after 2016 and the airline was able to regain another certificate in May 2018, which allowed them to perform only a few tasks of the surrendered one. By this certificate, they had been permitted to perform the maintenance of A320 air crafts and the airline is expecting the approval from the EASA to conduct A330 aircraft maintenance in the future,” he added.

 

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