With the global situation due to the outbreak of COVID-19 there is an imminent threat of illegal migrants attempting to enter Sri Lanka by sea.
As a result the Sri Lanka Air Force says it is currently conducting daily aerial surveillance operations in support of the Sri Lanka Navy’s efforts of blocking illegal entry in to the island.
On the instructions of the Commander of the Air Force, Air Marshal Sumangala Dias and under the supervision of the Director Air Operation, the SLAF is utilizing Y-12 aircraft for this purpose.
SLAF aircraft from the No 8 Light Transport Squadron at Ratmalana and from the No 3 Maritime Squadron at SLAF Academy China Bay are being deployed to conduct aerial surveillance.
The aircraft conduct their surveillance operations along the International Maritime Boundary Line from Mannar up to Point Pedro.
The main purpose is to observe and monitor sea vessels trying to breach the countries International Maritime Boundary Line.
In addition the SLAF conducts routine surveillance operations covering the entire island. The operations are done by dividing the island into 8 main sectors.
The SLAF utilizes Y-12 aircraft and Bell 212 helicopters from the No 3 and 8 Squadrons and the No 7 Helicopter Squadron.