Once again good news ...
Enclosed please find a SriLankan press release
SRILANKAN'S PILOTS ACHIEVE CAT III STATUS
SriLankan Airlines' pilots flying its Airbus A330 and A340 aircraft have the
distinction of having obtained approval for CAT III landings in Sri Lanka by
the local Director General of Civil Aviation, upon the recommendation of the
International Civil Aviation Organization in Geneva and COSCAP (the
organization for cooperative development of operational safety and
continuing airworthiness under ICAO's technical cooperation programme) in
Kathmandu, in September 2002.
Aircraft landing in inclement weather is categorised into four types - CAT
I, II, IIIA and III B, depending on the severity of weather conditions, the
facilities available at an airport, the instruments and equipment available
on board an aircraft and the competence of its technical crew.
CAT I is the lowest degree of landing approval and CAT III B the highest.
Pilots and aircraft approved for CAT I, II and III A are restricted to
heights above ground level, at or which the ground must be visible for
pilots to continue and complete the landing.
With CAT III B status, landing can be made automatically with the pilots not
needing to see the ground, i.e. what is otherwise called a blind landing.
"This is a singular honour for SriLankan Airlines' pilots," says SriLankan's
Chief Technical Officer Capt. Dick Hutton. "Previously, although SriLankan's
Airbus aircraft were approved for CAT III B operations, the airline's pilots
were approved at CAT II status only."
This meant that several SriLankan Airlines' flights had to diverted from
airports of destination to other airports, particularly in Europe, the
Middle East and India, under CAT III weather conditions, resulting in heavy
additional costs to the airline.
Eager to resolve this problem and buoyed with their success in achieving 120
minutes ETOPS and mixed fleet flying, the Flight Operations department at
SriLankan made an all out effort to secure CAT III B status for its pilots.
The project commenced with the publishing of the All Weather Operations
Manual for the approval of the DGCA who in turn consulted ICAO and COSCAP
experts before approving the manual.
In addition, Flight Operations performed an audit of the existing CAT II
operations as required by DGCA and ICAO experts.
The whole approval process took 14 months. At the same time that A330 and
A340 pilots were cleared for CAT III status, the airline's A320 pilots were
approved for CAT II operations.
Says SriLankan's Senior Manager Flight Operations Capt Milinda Ratnayake:
"CAT III approval is the highest recognition of pilots' professionalism,
competence and strict adherence to procedures. I wish to thank Acting
Director General of Civil Aviation H M C Nimalsiri for his cooperation in
extending the approval which the pilots of SriLankan richly deserve."
Corporate Communications department
SriLankan Airlines Limited
October 23rd, 2002
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