COLOMBO, Sri Lanka – SriLankan Airlines’ International Aviation Academy has entered into a broad ranging partnership with the Asian Institute of Technology. This is the first time a postgraduate institution and an international airline have come to such an accord in the region.
The memorandum of understanding was signed by Peter Hill, chief executive officer of SriLankan Airlines, and AIT President Said Irandoust on 27 July 2006 in Colombo. Also representing AIT was Mr. Sanjeev Jayasinghe, head, External Relations and Communications Office.
“This partnership is an important milestone for the International Aviation Academy, and we are certainly looking forward to a mutually beneficial relationship,” Mr. Hill said. “This five-year agreement is only the beginning. We expect to continuously enhance the relationship between the two institutions and increase the level of cooperation in order to derive the maximum possible benefits for the IAA, the AIT, and especially our many students.”
The agreement will promote training courses conducted by each party in Thailand and in Sri Lanka. Additionally, both parties have agreed to promote the other’s core activities and work further toward a strategic partnership.
The agreement plays upon the strengths of AIT’s outreach arm, AIT Extension, which has been conducting professional training courses since 1977 and has more than 20,000 alumni of such courses scattered throughout 77 countries and territories.
“I expect this to be a fruitful relationship and we will certainly do our best to make it a success,” Prof. Irandoust said. “We look forward to learning much from the IAA’s educational activities in aviation, and we are confident that AIT can contribute to the goals of SriLankan Airlines. The field of Aviation Studies offers huge potential, and both AIT and IAA are regional and international institutions of higher learning. It will certainly be a win-win situation for all of us.”
Sunil Dissanayake, head of Human Resources at SriLankan Airlines, said, “This partnership offers exciting possibilities, especially in management studies. I am certain there is quite a lot that the IAA and AIT can learn from each other.”
SriLankan Airlines, with a long tradition as the leading aviation industry training institution in Asia, recently launched the International Aviation Academy at the Bandaranaike International Airport in Katunayake, Sri Lanka. The IAA’s objective is to cater to the manpower requirements of airlines, airports, travel agents, and other aviation industry organizations throughout Asia and beyond. It also aims to play a pivotal role in the development of tertiary professional education in Sri Lanka and the South Asian region, by providing large numbers of young men and women with the necessary skills to embark on lucrative and successful careers in the industry in their own countries and overseas.
The IAA has already entered into partnership with a number of prestigious global institutions such as the International Air Transport Association, City & Guilds, Edexcel International, the Association of Certified Chartered Accountants, Chartered Institute of Management Accountants of the United Kingdom, the Chartered Institute of Marketing of the United Kingdom, and the Institute of Chartered Accountants. The IAA is also providing training for member organizations of the Travel Agents’ Association of Sri Lanka, and the Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators.
Currently AIT is in discussions with the Sri Lankan Ministry of Education to open a center in Applied Biotechnology in collaboration with the University of Colombo’s Institute for Molecular Biology and Biotechnology and with the University of Peradeniya, said Prof. Irandoust.