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Batti airport opens for service

25 March 2018 12:27 pm - 12     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


More domestic airports in the country would be developed to accommodate 60-seater aircraft, Civil Aviation and Transport Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said while commencing civil aviation at the Batticaloa Domestic Airport today.

The airport after renovation was declared open by President Maithripala Sirisena on July 2016.

However, operations were deferred as the airport had to conform to international civil aviation requirements, which are now fulfilled, the Ministry said.

The Batticaloa airport, which has a 1,066 metre long and 46-metre wide runway, was installed with a new runway lighting system and a new passenger terminal building at a cost of Rs. 1,400 mn.

Minister De Silva said the civil aviation service in the country would be expanded so as to serve local and foreigners.

“The airport was renovated with the intention of promoting domestic airlines and also to expand local and foreign tourism in the Eastern Province,” he said.

“I hope that we could be able to increase tourist attraction trough the domestic air service. Such airports are much needed in the country especially when the country is being developing economically and socially,” he said.  

The Ministry said the Government encouraged establishment of flying schools and related industries.

“The Government understands the need of having scheduled air services between domestic airports for sustained promotion of internal air transport and any airline, which commences scheduled flights to Batticaloa, would be given free landing and parking for a period three months from date of opening of the airport for civil use,” the ministry said.

The Ministry said that currently Cinnamon Air was operating twice daily scheduled flights to Batticaloa and a few more airlines have indicated willingness to commence scheduled flights to Batticaloa airport.

The airport has a total land space of 145.2 hectares and the portion thereof amounting to 75.9 hectares has been retained by Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) for continued operation of its air base.  

Separate access has been provided for civilians to enter the airport without the need of undergoing the strict security screening process.

The Civil Aviation Authority took over the Batticaloa Airport which had been used by the military for its operation for nearly three decades during the war.(By Darshana Sanjeewa)


  Comments - 12

  • Mr.Mukunthan Navaratnam Sunday, 25 March 2018 03:06 PM

    Excellent. Now don't stop at this. Move forward day by day to develop into international airport standard to improve the country. Mukunthan

    mahinda Sunday, 25 March 2018 03:56 PM

    This is what we had to do about 5-6 years ago

    rajitha7 Sunday, 25 March 2018 04:48 PM

    I counted 4 bodyguards for the minister.This is excessive and there is a skill shortage elsewhere.

    RR Monday, 26 March 2018 04:50 PM

    There were other politicians in that plane...

    veepee Monday, 26 March 2018 04:57 PM

    Big body to guard. Hence 4.

    Sand man Sunday, 25 March 2018 05:42 PM

    Great job. Need more developments in East like this.

    Mohamed Oman Monday, 26 March 2018 02:23 PM

    This is what country needs, domestic airports in Kandy, Trinco, Jaffna, Galle etc. Not international airports without air traffic done in Mattala at a huge waste of money.

    Nilantha Monday, 26 March 2018 02:28 PM

    95% of the passengers will be NGO /UN staff. Good chance to vanish the money for people.

    RW Monday, 26 March 2018 04:51 PM

    Also yourself will go...sure.

    sam Monday, 26 March 2018 04:14 PM

    why sign board only in Sinhala ... ?

    Observer Monday, 26 March 2018 08:17 PM

    you are absolutely right! Fundamental cause of the whole problem!!

    DonThomas Monday, 26 March 2018 04:23 PM

    Another project started by the Rajapakse regime that this government claims credit for. Just like Shangri-La

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