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Temporary terminal at BIA to ease congestion: Minister

11 May 2018 08:05 pm - 14     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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A temporary terminal would be built at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) in Katunayake within six months as a solution to the increasing congestion at the airport, Transport and Civil Aviation Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva said today.

He told Parliament that the contract undertaken by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to build the second terminal at the BIA had to be cancelled as its estimate was 45 per cent higher than that of the government engineers.

“We will call for tenders again for the construction of the second terminal which will take another four to five years to complete. In the meantime, we will construct a temporary terminal by the end of this year," he said.

The minister said passengers at the BIA were increasing annually, with about 10 million passengers having used the airport in 2017 in comparison to 8.5 million in 2015 and 9.4 million in 2016.

He said aircraft movements had also increased by 10.6 per cent.

Mr. De Silva yesterday submitted the Civil Aviation (Amendment) Bill to bring in new laws to prevent agents entering the airport illegally and engaging in illegal activities which inconvenience passengers.

The minister said steps would be taken to upgrade the Ratmalana Domestic Airport to facilitate private jets and flight schools.

"A huge area of the Ratmalana airport is occupied by the air force and after lengthy discussions they have agreed to release 25 acres to the civil aviation authority. We agreed to provide them Rs. 725 million to shift their hangers and other equipment," he said.

The minister said they were studying the possibility of constructing the second runway at the BIA to cater to the increasing demand. (Ajith Siriwardana and Yohan Perera)


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  Comments - 14

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  • Priyath Fernando Friday, 11 May 2018 08:56 PM

    First of all, improve the immigration area with just one queue with several counters as in other international airports. The person at the front of the queue can go to any counter as and when it becomes free.

    Thinker Friday, 11 May 2018 09:03 PM

    What a waste building a temporary terminal. The government thinks that Palaly airport is in an alien land. The best option is to make Palaly an international airport. This will help to develop North working towards reconciliation.

    Samanmalee Friday, 11 May 2018 09:19 PM

    Hundreds of millions spent for mattala was wasted.Should have spent it to make BIA bigger.Now gov is facing problems at BIA.

    Gamaya Friday, 11 May 2018 09:46 PM

    If you want positive results please find a new and independent consultant

    Gummay Baiyya Friday, 11 May 2018 09:58 PM

    Why don't we get our Govt engineers to build at lesser cost? After all we have the world's best engineers who have built better Sr Lankan infra structure than the country of Japan?

    JuniorCitizen Friday, 11 May 2018 10:12 PM

    If only our last king, had upgraded BIA to Singapore standards, instead of building an airport in the middle of no where.. He could have renamed BIA to MRIA and no one would have said a thing...

    Ceylon Friday, 11 May 2018 10:39 PM

    Any one srilankan or foriegner clearly notice the poor look of this main airport.it gives how poor country this is and these idiots cant even build a good looking airport while all others around have super airports.

    Ajantha Punyasoma Friday, 11 May 2018 10:40 PM

    Are you going to create a shed ?Mr. Minister, this country needs concrete action. Not just talk.You should be able to start a project soon, manage it efficiently and see it to completion. This is a capability the present government lacks. You talk a lot but very little is done.NATO !

    Sharon Friday, 11 May 2018 11:42 PM

    Building a temporary terminal is utter wastage. Building the second terminal should be fast tracked as the airport is congested all the time. This is a project that has dragged on for years now. Delaying is not going to reduce the cost - there is no such history. The project should be handed over to some body capable of delivering it on time. Certainly not the sleepy Nimal Siripala! He will never complete the project.

    LS Saturday, 12 May 2018 01:16 PM

    Who is going to build the temporary terminal? Is it a Chinese Contractor? Ministers and govt officials love Chinese Contractors. They are very nice.

    ranjith Saturday, 12 May 2018 02:12 PM

    Sadly our political system is so corrupt that they have no time to look into important issues such as BIA airport congestion. Corruption is the cause for the delay. We can't even accept that our technology or construction is not advanced as the Japanese who has proven time and time again that they are far superior to us ( eg : Colombo Hilton , New Kelani Bridge ). Pay well to get a good job done. Is this a Sri Lankan mentality ? Recently I was in Cochin in Kerala. They have a superb well managed airport which BIA cannot get even get closer to. Sad state of affairs.

    Traveller Sunday, 13 May 2018 02:41 PM

    the airport is the first impression which shows the good image tourist and locals who arrive in Sri Lanka after a exhausted travel. The airport should be more welcoming and comfortable to the passengers. First should train the emigration offices how to coordinate with passengers in a nice way. The way they look at the passengers like criminals.

    Sarath Sunday, 13 May 2018 03:22 PM

    I have noticed the negative responses to 'Thinker's ' reasons above. I can see the sad fact of some form of racism in objecting his valid comment. Today thousands of young youths in the North are unemployed. It's not fun. Converting the North airport into international status will employ thousands of youth. A temporary terminal I agree is utter waste of money.

    john Monday, 14 May 2018 09:21 AM

    the Japan funded stage 2 of BIA was first designed and ready to be tendered in 2004.But MR's brother in law who was appointed AASL Chairman scuttled it and changed the design without a valid feasibility and that went over the budget.If you add the cost of temporary terminal to the SL engineer's budget it would be better to build the new terminal


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