Aug 09, Colombo: The Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) has monitored a space that extends beyond its territorial skies and observed the routine flight operations that United States aircraft carrier conducts in the Indian Ocean, the United States said today in a statement.
Referring to the issue that its military aircraft entering Sri Lankan airspace, the U.S. Embassy in Colombo issuing a statement said that as media reports indicated the SLAF, which monitors a large Flight Identification Region (FIR) that extends beyond Sri Lanka’s territorial airspace, monitored the transit and the routine operations of the aircraft carrier.
Explaining the circumstances, the statement said the aircraft carrier USS RONALD REAGAN with accompanying ships recently transited the Indian Ocean returning to the Pacific. It conducted routine flight operations during the transit through waters beyond the territorial sea of any State, it added.
The Embassy assured that at no time did the USS RONALD REAGAN or its aircraft approach Sri Lanka’s territorial sea or airspace.
A spokesman for SLAF said the U.S. aircraft were told they were in violation of Sri Lankan airspace and subsequently they changed direction and moved out.
Local media reports said the Sri Lankan government is considering to launch a special investigation into the violation of the country’s airspace by U.S. fighter jets.
” U.S. naval aircraft operate with due regard for the safety of civil aviation,” the Embassy said.
The statement said responding to a request for information, the charg d’affaires on August 2 informed the Sri Lanka Minister of External Affairs that the transit had occurred, and the Defense Attach’s Office was in full communication with the Ministry of Defence that same evening.