165 Sri Lanka

Yellow with two panels. The smaller hoist-side panel has two equal vertical bands of green (hoist side) and orange. The other larger panel depicts a yellow lion holding a sword on a maroon rectangular field that also displays a yellow bo leaf in each corner. The yellow field appears as a border around the entire flag and extends between the two panels. The lion represents Sinhalese ethnicity, the strength of the nation, and bravery. The sword demonstrates the sovereignty of the nation. The four bo leaves – symbolizing Buddhism and its influence on the country – stand for the four virtues of kindness, friendliness, happiness, and equanimity. Orange signifies Sri Lankan Tamils, green Sri Lankan Moors, and maroon the Sinhalese majority. Yellow denotes other ethnic groups. Also referred to as the Lion Flag.

Flag courtesy of the CIA World Factbook

Map courtesy of the CIA World Factbook

Google Earth

The Gal Vihara (the stone temple), known originally as the Uttararama, is a rock temple of the Buddha located in the ancient city of Polonnaruwa in North Central Province, Sri Lanka. It was carved during the reign of Parakramabahu I (1153-1186). The temple consists of four rock relief statues of the Buddha, which have been carved into the face of a single granite outcropping. The reclining Buddha is just over 14 m (46 ft) in length, making it one of the largest sculptures in South Asia. The city of Polonnaruwa has been designated a World Heritage Center.

Photo courtesy of the CIA World Factbook

Sri Lanka is a member of ICAO.
Last updated on April 19, 2024


According to Britannica, a representative, democratic system of government has existed in Sri Lanka since the termination of British rule in 1948. Elections are regularly held, and citizens over 18 years of age may vote. Fairly contested elections have resulted in several orderly changes of government since independence.

As provided for by the constitution of 1978, the government is headed by an executive president elected directly by popular vote from a national electorate. The president selects a cabinet of ministers and other non cabinet ministers from the parliament. The president is also the commander in chief of the armed forces, army, navy, and air force.

The national parliament consists of more than 200 members. The system of proportional representation that operates at the elections ensures that the number of parliamentary seats secured by each party is roughly proportional to the number of votes received by the party at the polls.

Sri Lanka’s constitution provides for certain functions of government to be devolved to provincial councils (palāth sabhā). In addition, the country has a system of local government comprising municipal councils and urban councils.

The independence of Sri Lanka’s judiciary is protected by the constitution. The Supreme Court is the highest appellate court and the final arbiter in constitutional disputes. The Court of Appeal, High Court, district courts, magistrate’s courts, and primary courts occupy, successively, the lower levels of the hierarchy. The common law of Sri Lanka is based largely on Roman-Dutch law. Principles drawn from indigenous legal traditions are applied to aspects of civil law concerning certain communities.

Civil / National Aviation Authority (CAA/NAA)

The Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) was established in 1946. Initially, the DCA was entrusted to undertake all regulatory, operational and commercial functions which included operating air services, airports and air navigations services. With the view to provide more administrative and financial flexibility, conducive for the efficient management of airlines and airports in a technologically challenging and commercially competitive environment, all commercial and operational activities were separated from the Department of Civil Aviation progressively and transferred to Government owned Limited Liability Companies formed under the Companies Act. Accordingly, Air Lanka Ltd., (SriLankan Airlines) was established in 1979 for the operation of regular public air transport services and Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) Ltd., for development, operation and maintenance of civil airports and provision of air navigation services in 1983. Thus the DCA was confined to the role of the regulator. It retained a typical government departmental structure, not realizing the need to adjust itself over the years to develop the capability to regulate an aviation industry growing rapidly alongside the robust technical advancement in aeronautics. This situation continued undetected until the world aviation governing body, the ICAO found serious deficiencies in the DCA during an assessment conducted in 1997. It was that the DCA was found to be deficient in maintaining safety oversight of the aviation industry, implementing International Safety Standards and Recommended Practices, certifying the aviation industry, maintaining safety surveillance over their operations and taking enforcement action to remedy deviations from safety standards, rules and practices. The ICAO report highlighted the lack of the Organization, absence of required number of technical staff and their training, outdated aviation legislation, regulations and lack of guidance material and processes for effectively regulating the industry. It was under the premises aforementioned, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) of Sri Lanka was established in 2002 in terms of the Civil Aviation Act No.34 of 2002 as a direct measure of remedying the organizational deficiencies that prevailed. The new Organization ought to have more autonomy and flexibility as per the recommendation of ICAO for greater efficiency and effectiveness to accomplish its obligatory duties.


SkyVectorGoogle MapsADS-B Exchange

ICAO countries publish an Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP). This document is divided into three parts: General (GEN), En Route (ENR) and Aerodromes (AD). ENR 1.4 details the types of airspace classes they chose to adopt from classes A through G. Sri Lanka AIP

airspace classification

airspace classification

Drone Regulations

Drone Laws

DRONE APPROVAL SYSTEM – Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka

Manual Drone Applications

Model Aircraft Flying

An individual or a member of flying club can send request for operational approval from CAASL. You need to submit following information.

Part I – Security Clearance from the OCDS (Mandatory)

  • At first obtain the Security Clearance from the Office of the Chief of Defense Staff (OCDS).
  • Submit your request to OCDS using attached sample letter via email.

Sample letter – (OCDS Sample request letter).

Part II – Complete CAASL form CAA/OP/079 together with;

  • List of model aircraft with the details of type, model, operating frequency, weight and fuel type (Attachment I)
  • List of members of the Club with their Full Names, NIC , Addresses and Contact numbers (Attachment II)
  • Operating area with GPS coordinates of corner points of the area
  • Consent letter from the location owner
  • Dates of intended operations

Insurance Requirement for UAS

Pursuit to the section 29 of the Implementing Standard SLCAIS-053 Rev. 03 issued by Director General of Civil Aviation on 06th January 2022, All Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) under mass category A, B & C shall not be operated without a valid insurance cover at least in respect of 3rd party injury and/or damage.

Minimum Third Party Liability Cover

insurance requirement for UAS

Restricted Areas
How to Import a Drone into Sri Lanka

Please note that, prior to import a drone into the country, you are required to obtain necessary permission/no objections from the Ministry of Defense (MOD), Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka (CAASL), Telecommunication Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL) and Import & Export Control Department.

If you are engage in drone importation as a business you are required to obtain a permit from CAASL.

The following steps describes the drone importation process.

drone importation process

Step 1 (Check the Drone Type is Approved or Not)

Check whether your drone type which is to be imported to the country is in the approved list. (Approved Drone Type List)

If the type is not in the approved type list, you need to apply for type approval from CAASL using following application CAA/OP/078.

(Please note that it may take up to 7 working days and you should submit any details upon the request of CAASL)

Once you obtained the permission for your drone type from CAASL, you may apply security clearance from MOD and follow the rest of the steps as per the flow chart above.

If your drone is in the Approved list, no objection from CAASL is not required. You may apply for the security clearance from MOD and follow the rests of the steps as per the flow chart above.

Step 2 (Obtaining Security Clearance from the Ministry of Defence)

Apply for security clearance from the Ministry of Defence to import a drone in to the country using below contacts;

Email – modtechnical.branch@gmail.com
Website – http://www.defence.lk

Step 3 (Obtaining Spectrum Clearance from Telecommunication Regulatory Commission)

After obtaining the MOD security clearance apply for spectrum clearance from Telecommunication Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka.

Email – smind@trc.gov.lk
Telephone Number – 0112 689 345; Extension: 4122
Contact Person – Ms. Hiranya Kumarasiri
Website – http://www.trc.gov.lk/

Step 4 (Obtaining Import Control License)

After obtaining above approvals you are required to obtain Import Control License to clear your units from the Sri Lanka Customs

Website – http://www.imexport.gov.lk/index.php/en/

Step 5 (Collect your item from SL Customs)

You may clear your items from Sri Lanka Customs upon completion the above steps.


Register as an Unmanned Aircraft Training Provider

Pursuant to the Implementing Standards (IS) SLCA-IS053 titled as “Requirements for the Operation of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles/Remotely Piloted Aircraft) issued by the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), all Unmanned Aircraft training organization shall require to obtain a permit from the DGCA.

There are two types of permits for this purpose,

1. Issuance of Permits for UA Basic Training Organization (UABTO)
2. Issuance of Permits for UA Training and Assessment Organization (UATO)

All the information and requirements regarding the permit are described in the Sri Lanka Civil Aviation Publication (SLCAP) 4600 Manual.


1. Application for UA Basic Training Organization (UABTO).

2. Application for UA Training & Assessment Organization (UATO).
2.1 Attachment I
2.2 Attachment II

3. SIS Clearance Application. (Please make sure to submit three (3) separate copies for each required personal to this office through registered post or by hand.)


Privately Build Drones

If your Unmanned Aircraft is built using assembly kit which contained a serial number in the control board please use form CAA/OP/074 for Registration.

If there is no serial number in your Unmanned Aircraft use this Form CAA/OP/076.


Incident Reporting

Inform local police & CAASL immediately if your drone is involved in an accident that results in a serious or fatal injury to a person, or that affects a manned aircraft. Please report via Mandatory Occurrence Report CAA/OP/080.



Implementing Standard – SLCAIS 053 – Implementing Standards


Do I have to register my Drone with Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka (CAASL)? All drones must be registered except drones which are not fitted with any data capturing device and weighs less than 200g.
How may I register my Drone with CAASL? You can register your drone by sending completed CAA/AU/015 form to drone@caa.lk
My drone weighs less than 200g, do I have to register with CAASL? If it is equipped with any data capturing device you need to register with CAASL.  Drones which are not fitted with any data capturing device and weighs less than 200g are not required to register with CAASL.
Can I operate my Drone without approval?
Yes you can, but only when your drone;
  • Weighs below 200g and
  • Not fitted with any data capturing device (ex: camera) and
  • Operates in own premises or with consent of the property owner and
  • Below 150ft above ground level.

In all other situation you have to obtain CAASL approval.

My drone is registered at CAASL. Do I have to obtain permission when I fly my drone for leisure? Yes, irrespective of the purpose you have to obtain CAASL approval.
How can I get the flying approval from CAASL? Upon submission of;
  • CAA/AS/016 application,
  • Security Clearance obtain by the Office of Chief of Defence Staff (OCDS) and
  • Third party liability insurance cover of the drone

CAASL will issue the flying approval.

Do I have to get security clearance from Office of Chief of Defence Staff (OCDS) for all my drone operations? Even in my own land? Yes. As per the agreed procedure by defense authorities, security clearance is a pre-requisite.

For more information please contact Office of Chief of Defence Staff (OCDS).
(Contact details of OCDS: Tel: +94 11 2674503; +94 11 2674506 Email: ocds.drone@gmail.com)

Can I fly my drone only using the security clearance received from OCDS? No. You are required to obtain airspace approval from CAASL for you to fly your drone legally.
What is the maximum height I’m allowed to fly my drone? Up to 150ft above ground level. However you can obtain a special permission if you want to fly above 150ft from ground level with special conditions, based on the purpose of drone operation.
Do I need to have an insurance cover for my drone?  Yes. You need to have a third party liability insurance cover for your drone to operate.
Can I fly my drone during night time? Yes, with an approval. You have to mention the time duration when you apply for an approval.
Can I fly near an Airport?  Yes, with a consent letter/ correspondence from the accountable manager of the airport you can apply to CAASL to obtain airspace approval.
Can I operate my drone from my roof top?  Operations from elevated ground, building or an object are not allowed during a normal operation. However you can obtain a special permission with special conditions.
Can I operate my drone from my vehicle when it is moving, where the driver is somebody else? Operation from moving vehicle, platform are not allowed during normal operation. However you can obtain a special permission with special conditions.
I am a foreigner who is expecting to come to Sri Lanka to spend my next vacation. Can I bring my drone to Sri Lanka for my own usage? Yes, you also required to register your drone with CAASL and obtain flying permission. All the process are same for both Sri Lankan residents and foreigners.

Advanced Air Mobility (AAM)


Short Essay Questions

Question 1

You have been hired by a Drone Startup Company. Your boss has immediately assigned this job to you.

They need you to prepare a one-page memo detailing the legalities of using a drone to film the stone temple, pictured above.

They need you to mention any national laws and local ordinances.

They specifically want to know what airspace you will be operating in and whether or not you need an airspace authorization.

Does it matter whether or not you are a citizen of the country?

Lastly, there is a bonus for you if, as you scroll through this chapter, you find any typos or broken links!

Question 2

Do you need a certificate to fly UAS?

If so, how do you obtain one?

Are there fees associated with this?

If so, how much?

Question 3

May you operate beyond visual line of sight?

If so, what procedures must you follow?

Question 4

Does the country have UAM/AAM laws? If so, describe, citing the exact law.

Question 5

Are you aware of any new laws or policies not mentioned above? If so, describe, citing the exact law or policy.





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Drones Across the World Copyright © 2023 by Sarah Nilsson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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