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    New Director General of Civil Aviation is appointed

    The Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka welcomes the appointment of Air vice Marshal H. M. S. K. B. Kotakadeniya (Retd) as the new Director General of Civil Aviation and Chief Executive Officer. This appointment comes in the wake of the retirement of the former Director General of Civil Aiation.

    The official appointment letter was presented by Hon. Nimal Siripala Silva, Minister of Ports, Shipping, and Aviation, and has received the approval of the Cabinet of Ministers.

    A ceremony to mark this significant occasion took place in the presence of the Secretary to the Ministry, Mr. K D S Ruwanchandra, Chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka (CAASL) Mr. G.S. Withanage, and Vice Chairman Mr. D.W.S. Narangoda.

    Prior to assuming the role of Director General of Civil Aviation, AVM H M S K B Kotakadeniya (Retd) served as a Board Director of CAASL since 12 August 2022. His extensive experience and strategic vision make him well-suited to lead the aviation sector into a new Era of growth and development of the aviation industry in Sri Lanka.

    Career Profile of New Director General, Air vice Marshal H M S K B Kotakadeniya (Retd)

    Air vice Marshal H M S K B Kotakadeniya (Retd) holds two masters’ degrees, in International relations from the University of Colombo (MAIR) and Defense and Strategic Studies from the University of Madras India (MSc def & stu). He is an Alumina of the National Defense University Washington DC and National Defense University of China. He is an accomplished officer, with continuous exposure to aviation and strategic management training in Sri Lanka and overseas including Basic Flight Safety/Accident Investigation in Pakistan and Defense Services Command and Staff College in India, in addition to the series of symposiums and courses he attended during his military career. In civil aviation, he holds a diploma in Airline management and a certificate in Airline Station management from IATA. He was instrumented in designing and conducting the first Air Symposium for the Sri Lanka Air Force.

    During his 35 years of service in the Air Force, AVM Kotakadeniya held many staff and command appointments. He has served as the Staff Officer Air Operation 1, Staff Officer (Air) Joint Operations Command, Chief Instructor of the Air Wing at Defense Services Command and Staff College and as Commanding Officer of No 07 Squadron. Above all, he is the only Air Force officer who has commanded all six air bases in the Sri Lanka Air Force. He is a well-recognized senior VVIP pilot with over 5000 flying hours in both combat operations and VVIP flying. He held the appointments of Air Defense Commander, Director Logistics and Director Air Intelligence, Sri Lanka Air Force being a member of the Air force Board of Management.

    He held the prestigious position of the Vice Chancellor, of Kotalawala Defence University prior to taking up the appointment as the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka Air force.

    Air vice Marshal Sagara Kotakadeniya was appointed as a board director at the Civil Aviation Authority with effect from 12 August 2022.

    AVM Kotakadeniya served as an Operational Pilot and Operations Commander, humanitarian operations and in recognition of his acts of bravery was awarded with three gallantry medals, Weera Wickrama Vibushanaya (WWV), Rana Wickrama Padakkama (RWP), and Rana Sura Padakkama (RSP). His distinguished, exemplary and loyal service to the country has been recognized with Vishishta Seva Vibushanaya (VSV), Uttama Seva Padakkama (USP) and Sri Lanka Armed Services Long Service Medal in addition to the campaign and operational service medals.

    Professional and Academic Qualifications

    • MA in International Relations, University of Colombo (60 Credits) 2019
    • MSc in Defense and Strategies Studies (First Class) in University of Madras India (2004- 2005)
    • Diploma in Defense and Strategic Studies and Fellow of National Defense University of Peoples Liberations Army of China (2009-2010) (FNDU)
    • Alumni of Near East South Asia (NESA) Centre for Strategic Studies, National Defence University, Washington DC, USA (2008)
    • Graduate of Defense Services Command and Staff College India (2004)
    • Diploma in International Airline Management, (First Class) Indian Institute of Management and Technology, Chennai (2000)

    Career Profile

    • Deputy Chief of Staff at Sri Lanka Air Force (Up to June2020)
    • Vice Chancellor, General Sir John Kotalawala Defense University (2019-2020)
    • Director Logistics, Sri Lanka Air Force (2017-2019)
    • Director Air Intelligence-Sri Lanka Air Force (2017-2019)
    • Air Defense Commander, Sri Lanka Air Force(2015-2016)
    • Chief Instructor (AIR) Defense Servicers Command and Staff College Sapugaskanda. (2011-2012)
    • Staff Officer Air Operations One (Senior Air Staff) Directorate of Air Operations, Air Force Headquarters.
    • Operational Pilot (1987-2003)
    • Base Commander Sri Lanka Air Force Base Katunayake.5300 men with 28 Logger Formations and Three Flying Squadrons. (2015-2016)
    • Commandant, Sri Lanka Air Force Academy, China bay – 2600 men with Basic Flying Training Squadron, Three ground Training Wings and Air Defense Squadron.(2013-2015)
    • Base Commander Sri Lanka Air Force Base Ratmalana-2900 men with Two Flying Squadrons (2012-2013)
    • Base Commander Sri Lanka Air Force Base Anuradhapura-1900 men with a Flying Squadrons (2007-2009)
    • Base Commander Sri Lanka Air Force Base Vavuniya-1800 men with one Flying Squadrons, Unmanned Aerial Squadron, Air Defense Radar Squadron and forward most operational Flying Base (2005-2007)
    • Base Commander Sri Lanka Air Force Base Higurakkgoda -2500 men with Two Flying Squadrons (2003-2004)
    • Commanding Officer No 7 Helicopter Squadron – 290 men with basic Helicopter Training Flying and operational Helicopters.

    Work Related Training and Certification

    • Certificate Course in Station Management Course (Air Port Management) IATA 2003
    • Flight Safety course in Institute of Air Safety, Pakistan 1996
    • Junior Command and Staff College in Coimbatore India 1994

    Military Recognition

    • Recipient of the highest-level bravery medal of Weera Wickrama Vibhushanaya
    • Recipient of the Rana Wickrama Padakkama
    • Recipient of the Rana Sura Padakkama
    • Recipient of the Vishista Seva Vibhushanaya awarded for unblemished exemplary record of accomplishment

    Thesis/Dissertation Written

    • The role of Attack Helicopters in Small Wars (MSc Defense and Strategic Studies)- 2004
    • Use of Non-Lethal Weapons against Air Craft Hijacking-2009 (MSc Defense Studies- China)
    • Belt Road Initiative and its impact on the stability in the Indian Ocean Region. (Master of Arts International Relations)-University of Colombo-2017

    Regional HADR architectures: Geostrategic importance of Sri Lanka in addressing ocean based disasters -2018(Colombo Air Symposium)

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