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SARI 14th Steering Committee Meeting, Maldives

18th of September

On 18th September 2023, the 14th Steering Committee Meeting (SCM) of the South Asia Regional Initiative (SARI) was held in Bandos Island of Maldives. The meeting was attended by delegations from six SARI member states: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Four of the delegations were represented by their DGs, Mr. Kinley Wangchuk (Bhutan), Mr. Hussain Jaleel (Maldives), Mr. Pradeep Adhikari (Nepal), and Mr. Khaqan Murtaza (Pakistan). The meeting was chaired by the SARI chairman, Mr. Raju Shrestha, Director of the Flight Safety Department, CAA Nepal. Project Manager for the EU-South Asia Aviation Partnership Project (APP) from EASA, Mr. Carlos Menendez, Deputy Project Manager Mr. Adam Gonda, Mr. Mahmood Razee, Project Director, Mr. Muhammad Zahid Bhatti, SARI coordinator, and Ms. Romany Lawrence Hewa, Project Office Coordinator, were also the Participants of the meeting.


During this meeting, following the welcome addresses, Mr. Mahmood Razee provided a brief recap of the previous SARI SCM, Mr. Muhammad Zahid Bhatti highlighted the key accomplishments of the SARI Work Plan for 2022, and Ms. Romany Lawrence Hewa informed the audience about the primary challenges and obstacles encountered by the team during the execution of the SARI Work Plan.


The SARI member states, in their feedback, expressed their appreciation for the diligent efforts put in by the SARI team and extended their gratitude for the support provided by both the SARI team and the EU-South Asia Aviation Partnership Project. Additionally, they shared their success stories and offered their perspectives through comprehensive reviews of the SARI activities within the region. It was also emphasized by states to continue the SARI activities in the region to promote safety and a broader understanding of the EU regulation. In the meeting, the SARI coordinator presented the draft of the SARI Work Plan for the year 2023. After due deliberations, suggestions and recommendations by the member states for the work plan were accepted.


Mr. Carlos Menendez, the Project Manager, engaged in a thorough discussion about the future prospects and sustainability of the SARI. He encouraged the member states to collaborate closely and develop a comprehensive roadmap for the future. This collective effort aims to secure the continued existence of SARI and ensure ongoing support for the member states.


Towards the conclusion of the event, the participants made the important decision to appoint a new Chairman and Vice Chairman for SARI. Mr. Abdulla Mohamad from Maldives and Mr. Rayhan Wanniappa from Sri Lanka were unanimously elected as the Chairman SARI and Vice Chairman of SARI, respectively. The meeting concluded with closing remarks delivered by the newly elected Chairman, the SARI coordinator, and the Project Manager of the EU-SA APP.

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