Sri Lanka must liberalize its aviation policy while protecting its national airline from anti-competitive behaviour, Minister of Transport & Civil Aviation Nimal Siripala De Silva said Monday.
He was speaking at the International Civil Aviation Organization’s Conference at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall.
“The reduction of states’ controls within the air transport industry, which is popularly termed as ‘liberalization’ or ‘deregulation,’ has brought in good results and fostered competition between air carriers,” he said.
But, he added, heightened competition can lead to the risk of anti-competitive behavior between airlines. “Sometimes the governments have to step in and lend support to their national airlines through means that could deny the airlines of other states a fair and equal opportunity to compete,” he said.
That control set of chain reactions between countries, he said, which is “one of the key constraints that Sri Lanka is currently faced with, in the implementation of its desire of moving towards liberalized market access.”
“Sri Lanka is a small island nation and therefore has to rely so much on aviation to reach its socioeconomic development goals,” De Silva added.