Sri Lanka FBO: What Business Jet Operators Need to Know

Sri Lanka, an island nation in South Asia, has been witnessing significant growth in its aviation industry, with various Fixed Base Operators (FBOs) offering a range of services to accommodate the increasing air traffic. FBOs play a crucial role in efficiently managing ground handling and aviation fuel supply, as well as providing several other aviation-related services to commercial and private aircraft operators.

One such FBO in Sri Lanka is Smooth Flight Support, which specializes in catering to the needs of commercial airlines, general aviation, and government aircraft. Additionally, Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) (Private) Limited is responsible for administering and managing major airports in the country, including the Bandaranaike International Airport, which serves as the hub for SriLankan Airlines, Fitsair, and Cinnamon Air.

As the aviation industry continues to expand in Sri Lanka, FBOs are set to become even more significant in the near future. By providing essential services and support, these FBOs have a critical role in bolstering Sri Lanka’s air hub and catering to the increasing demand from both local and international airline operators.

Overview of Sri Lanka FBO

Policy and Regulation

Sri Lanka’s Fixed Based Operators (FBO) adhere to policies and regulations set by the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka, which oversees the licensing and certification of flight operations. Operational standards and safety requirements are in place, ensuring efficient services in all aspects such as flight dispatch, ground handling, and other support services. The Sri Lankan aviation blueprint is key in driving further growth and prosperity within this sector.

Economic Impact

The aviation industry plays a significant role in Sri Lanka’s economic development. The country’s aviation sector has undergone substantial growth since its inception, with Ratmalana Airport established in 1935 and Bandaranaike International Airport in 1967. Fixed Based Operators in Sri Lanka facilitate many connections, not only for commercial purposes but also for private aircraft and general aviation, which in turn creates jobs, fosters business opportunities, and aids international connectivity.

FBO Services in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka has a growing aviation industry, and Fixed-Base Operators (FBOs) play a significant role in offering a variety of aviation services. In this section, we’ll explore the various FBO services available in Sri Lanka, with a focus on ground handling, fuel services, maintenance, and charter services.

Ground Handling

One of the primary services provided by FBOs in Sri Lanka is ground handling. This includes facilitating passenger, baggage, and cargo handling, as well as coordinating services like catering and aircraft cleaning. Smooth Flight Support Service and Royal Aviation Lanka are two examples of companies that specialize in ground-handling services for commercial and private airlines.

Fuel Services

Fuel Services are a critical aspect of FBO operations. FBOs in Sri Lanka work with reliable fuel suppliers to ensure a consistent fuel supply for their clients at competitive prices. Sri Lanka Executive Aviation Services and Premier Aviation are known for providing efficient fueling services to both private and commercial aircraft operators.


Aircraft maintenance is another essential service provided by FBOs in Sri Lanka. They offer routine checks, repairs, and other maintenance services to ensure the safety and efficiency of the aircraft. Sri Lankan FBOs employ qualified technicians and engineers to handle different types of aircraft maintenance requirements, ranging from minor repairs to more extensive overhauls.

Charter Services

Lastly, charter services form an integral part of FBO offerings in Sri Lanka. These services cater to the specific needs of clients who require private or corporate air travel. FBOs in Sri Lanka work closely with aircraft operators to provide tailored charter solutions that fit the requirements of their clients. Sri Lanka Executive Aviation Services is one such FBO that offers bespoke charter services for both private and commercial aviators.

Key Players in the Sri Lanka FBO Market

In the Sri Lanka Fixed-Based Operator (FBO) market, several key players contribute to the growth and development of the industry. Despite the lack of business aviation infrastructure in the Asian region, countries like Sri Lanka have been witnessing a steady increase in FBO services. Let’s take a look at some of the leading names in the Sri Lanka FBO landscape.

Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) Ltd. is a state-owned organization responsible for managing and operating major airports within Sri Lanka all while providing FBO services. Their operations comprise aircraft ground handling, passenger management, and fueling services vital for smooth aviation functions.

Another market participant is Serendib Aviation, a private company offering comprehensive FBO solutions. They cater to various segments in the aviation industry, such as general aviation, business jets, and international flights. Serendib brings top-notch support services like flight planning, ground handling, and refuelling facilities to clients.

Alongside these well-established companies, Aircentre (Pvt) Ltd. has also carved out a spot among reputable FBOs in Sri Lanka. Emphasizing safety, professionalism, and quality, they deliver notable aircraft ground handling services, including flight permits, catering arrangements, and ground transportation.

Additionally, it is important to acknowledge the role of organizations like Farmer Organizations in Sri Lanka’s agriculture sector. Although not directly involved in the FBO market, their operations indirectly support aviation industry growth by catering to the needs of the agricultural community.

In summary, the Sri Lanka FBO market comprises diverse actors that contribute to the country’s aviation sector’s growth and development. With the emergence of new FBO players and the efforts of existing ones, the industry is undoubtedly bound for progress.

Sri Lanka’s Strategic Location

Sri Lanka is situated at a strategic location in the Indian Ocean, offering significant advantages in terms of geopolitics and aviation growth potential.

Geopolitical Advantage

Its position at the crossroads of major shipping routes connecting South Asia, the Far East, Europe, and America makes Sri Lanka a convenient port of call for shipping lines and airfreight services. This strategic location places the country in the middle of the geopolitical competition for regional influence^[1^]. Over 60,000 ships, including two-thirds of the world’s seaborne crude oil and half of its container ships, transit Sri Lankan waters annually^[2^].

Sri Lanka’s proximity to the Indian sub-continent further positions it as a potential hub in the Sea Lines of Communication^[3^]. However, the country’s economic crisis and decline in its strategic manoeuvres have left it politically, economically, and strategically vulnerable [4^].

Aviation Growth Potential

Sri Lanka’s location uniquely positions it to capitalize on the growth of air travel within the region. The government is actively seeking potential buyers for the national airline, SriLankan Airlines, which has faced consistent financial difficulties since 2008^[5^].

In order to attract buyers, the government is offering a two-pronged approach consisting of debt relief and emphasizing the country’s strategic location [5^]. The airline’s potential to capitalize on these factors combined with the geopolitical advantages mentioned above could help Sri Lanka position itself as a major player in the aviation sector.

In conclusion, Sri Lanka’s strategic location in the Indian Ocean offers substantial opportunities and challenges in terms of geopolitics and aviation growth. By capitalizing on these advantages, the country could strengthen its position on the global stage and pave the way for a brighter economic future.

Investment Opportunities in FBO

Sri Lanka, being an emerging market in Asia, offers a variety of investment opportunities in the Foods, Beverages, and Tobacco (FBO) sector. With its growing economy and strategic location, the country presents a compelling prospect for international investors. Moreover, Sri Lanka’s GDP per capita is expected to double over the next 10 years.

One key area of interest is the food processing industry. This sector is ripe for investment due to the country’s abundant natural resources, availability of raw materials, and increasing consumer demand for processed foods. Investments in food processing can help create value-added products that cater to both local and international markets.

Another potential investment area is the beverage industry. Sri Lanka has a strong beverage culture, including tea, coffee, fruit juices, and soft drinks. The expanding tourism sector generates increased demand for a variety of beverages, creating opportunities for new and innovative products.

In the tobacco industry, Sri Lanka’s government has implemented strict regulations to deter the consumption of tobacco products. However, there might still be niche markets for premium or specialized tobacco products catering to tourists and high-income consumers.

Furthermore, investment opportunities are available in the following areas:

  • Product development: Introducing new food and beverage products tailored to local tastes, trends, and preferences.
  • Branding & marketing: Expanding and promoting Sri Lankan food and beverage products in international markets, leveraging the country’s rich cultural heritage and tropical appeal.
  • Technology & innovation: Implementing modern food processing techniques, such as vacuum packing, canning, and freeze-drying, to extend shelf life and improve the quality of products.

To capitalize on these opportunities, investors can explore private and public-sector partnerships in Sri Lanka to establish joint ventures, acquisitions, and greenfield projects. By strategically tapping into the FBO sector, investors can contribute to the growth and development of this diverse and promising market.

Sustainability and Future Prospects

Sri Lanka’s aviation sector has been experiencing remarkable growth, reporting a significant profit of Rs. 22 billion from January to August 2023. This success highlights the sector’s ability to maintain its financial stability and overall sustainability. To ensure long-term growth, the industry is exploring various collaboration opportunities, particularly with regional airlines.

As the aviation industry has a key role in 15 out of 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals, it is crucial to support its expansion in Sri Lanka. The sector contributes to trade, tourism, and job opportunities, which ultimately leads to poverty alleviation and prosperity. In fact, a 2018 IATA study found that Sri Lanka’s aviation sector provided employment for 700,000 people and generated $8 billion towards the country’s GDP.

Key initiatives to achieve a sustainable aviation sector in Sri Lanka include investing in eco-friendly practices, implementing modern technology, and promoting efficient resource management. Some examples of such initiatives are:

  • Fuel efficiency: Adopting newer aircraft models with more fuel-efficient engines, enabling airlines to reduce emissions significantly.
  • Alternative fuels: Pursuing the use of biofuels and other sustainable energy sources for air travel to offset the environmental impact of the industry.
  • Waste management: Ensuring minimum waste generation on flights and focusing on recycling by incorporating the latest waste management techniques.

Apart from environmental sustainability, the Sri Lankan aviation sector also aims for continuous financial growth. Recent reports indicate an expected growth of 1.7% in the country’s economy in 2024, despite a 3.8% contraction the previous year. The future of this growth is largely dependent on debt restructuring and other economic reforms.

In conclusion, the Sri Lankan aviation sector is actively working towards creating a sustainable future by adopting eco-friendly practices and exploring collaboration opportunities. A focus on both environmental and financial sustainability, along with support for trade and tourism, will help the industry continue to thrive for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

What services are included in FBO operations in Sri Lanka?

FBO operations in Sri Lanka offer a range of services for private and business aviation. These services include aircraft handling and maintenance, fueling, passenger and crew services, and customs clearance. At some locations, FBOs may also provide flight planning and coordination services to ensure smooth operations for your aircraft.

How do I choose a reliable FBO service provider in Sri Lanka?

To choose a reliable FBO service provider in Sri Lanka, consider their reputation, facilities, and the certifications they hold. A well-known and licensed service provider, such as those approved by the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka, will adhere to stringent safety and service standards.

Can you list the airports in Sri Lanka with FBO facilities?

Sri Lanka’s main international airport with FBO facilities is Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB) in Colombo. Other airports that cater to private aviation are Ratmalana Airport (RML), also in Colombo, and Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (HRI) in Hambantota.

What are the protocols for private jet handling at Sri Lankan FBOs?

Private jet handling at Sri Lankan FBOs involves following standard procedures to ensure the safety and comfort of passengers and crew. These include coordinating with local authorities for permits, providing flight support services like weather tracking and flight plans, and ensuring that ground operations such as fueling and maintenance are carried out efficiently.

What amenities can VIP passengers expect from Sri Lankan FBOs?

VIP passengers at Sri Lankan FBOs can expect a range of amenities designed to provide a comfortable and seamless travel experience. These may include private lounges, catering services, concierge assistance, and customs and immigration facilitation. Some FBOs may also offer chauffeur and limousine services.

How does ground handling differ at Sri Lankan FBOs compared to commercial terminals?

Ground handling at Sri Lankan FBOs is focused on providing personalized and efficient service for private aviation clients. This means shorter wait times, dedicated ground support personnel, and greater flexibility in terms of scheduling and accommodating specific requirements. In contrast, commercial terminals often cater to a larger volume of passengers and airlines, which may result in longer wait times and less individualized service.