"Disaster Relief" used to bolster Colombo's air-transport capability
[TamilNet, Thursday, 03 February 2005, 00:12 GMT]
Sri Lanka has asked the USA to speed shipment of parts required to return one C-130K to flight and to review a 2004 request to obtain at least one additional aircraft from excess US stocks, Flight International, a UK based magazine covering aerospace industry news, in its Defence column of the February 1st 2005 issue, quoted Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) commander Donald Perera as saying. SLAF's two C-130Ks have been grounded for the last two months according to the report.
The magazine also confirmed that the US government sources are working to supply Sri Lanka with significant amount of spares and two new engines as quickly as possible.
Noting that funds for at least one more helicopter could be made available this year, the magazine said that at least three more aircraft are required to bolster Sri Lanka's 14-strong Bell 212 fleet, with the company's Model 412 the most likely solution.
United States is likely to provide a third C-130 free of charge, the report added.
The magazine further noted that the SLAF has asked the Sri Lankan government to fund the purchase of additional transport helicopters, including Bell 412s and Mil Mi-17s, as part of a new five-year budget plan.
Bell Aerospace has been trying to sell Sri Lanka more 412s since it delivered its last of four VIP aircraft in 1999, the magazine said.