Touting of passengers in the airport premises will be a punishable offence in terms of amendments to the Civil Aviation Act.
The amendments have been gazetted by Transport and Civil Aviation Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva. They will empower police officers in the airport premises to arrest any person touting for any incoming or outgoing passengers.
Those engaged in providing Aviation Security Services will also have the power to arrest such persons and hand them over to the Police.
If found guilty of the offence of touting, after a prosecution before a Magistrate’s Court, the offender will be liable to a fine of upto Rs. 25,000 or a jail term of upto six months or both.
However, rendering any service such as arranging transport, accommodation, loading or unloading any baggage or other articles into or from any vehicle for any passenger by any member of the family or friend of such passenger or an authorized person, a concierge or a representative or agent of the hospitality trade shall not constitute an offence.
Touting has been defined in a new amendment to the Civil Aviation Act as “canvassing with a view to arranging transport or accommodation for an incoming or outgoing passenger or loading or unloading his baggage or other articles into or from vehicles or offering any similar service, for a valuable consideration or otherwise, without being duly authorised to do so.”
Meanwhile, the minister recently made an order to transfer and vest in the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka the Katunayake and Ratmalana Airports, the aeronautical facilities and land belonging to them. These include the Civil Aviation Training Centre at Ratmalana; the Aeronautical Communication Transmission Station at Attidiya in Ratmalana, the Radio Navigational Aid for BIA at Madampella in Gampaha, the Radio Navigation Aid for BIA runway at Pamunugama in Gampaha, the Radar Station at Mount Pidurutalagala, the land at Pidurutalagala in the Nuwara Eliya District where the holiday bungalows for aviation staff have been constructed and a 0.125 hectare land in Anuradhapura New Town.