The inaugural Colombo Air Symposium (CAS), hosted by the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) at the elegant ‘Eagle’s Lakeside Banquet and Convention Hall’ in Attidiya, Colombo, Sri Lanka on 30 November 2015, marked the genesis of this invaluable gathering. Themed ‘Nation Building through Maritime Air Security,’ this inaugural session laid the foundation for a series of profound dialogues in the years to follow. Subsequently, four CAS unfolded consecutively, each centered around distinct themes, consecutively shaping the discourse and contributing to the collective knowledge pool. The themes for these transformative CAS are as follows:

Year Theme
2016 Air Power in the Context of Regional Defence and Security
2017 Air Power in Addressing Asymmetric Threats
2018 Air Strategy in Substantiating the Geo Strategic Importance of Sri Lanka
2019 A Small Air Force: Way Forward in Achieving Future Vision

            Nevertheless, the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated a temporary interruption for the CAS to align with health regulations and restrictions imposed worldwide. After a two-year pause, in the year 2023, the SLAF rekindled its aspirational role, resuming its commitment to provide a dynamic arena for academic intellectuals to engage in ongoing knowledge sharing and research. The CAS 2023 emerged as a beacon of intellectual collaboration under the theme ‘Fostering shared air interests in the IOR: Geopolitical cooperation, complexities, and compulsions.’ This timely and significant gathering reaffirmed the SLAF’s dedication to fostering a space for dialogue despite the challenges posed by the global health crisis.

            The success of the CAS is intricately tied to the caliber of research papers presented. Therefore, the SLAF extends an open invitation to air power enthusiasts, practitioners, military, and civil researchers both regionally and globally. This distinguished forum stands as a beacon, propelling knowledge sharing, nurturing innovative ideas, and facilitating research to inspire towards the advancement of Air Forces and industries associated with aviation. Within the realms of National Security and regional stability, CAS holds immense significance for a multitude of civil and military stakeholders across the globe. As an eagerly awaited event, CAS has become an integral fixture in the SLAF calendar. Beyond the dissemination of extensive knowledge, CAS serves as a gateway to opportunities within the spheres of defence and security, specifically emphasizing the domains of air power and space power.