The Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation today renamed the Palaly Airport as the Jaffna International Airport.
The changing of the name had taken place following a Cabinet decision. The Cabinet proposal was submitted by the Subject Minister, Arjuna Ranathunga.
The Minister said the upgrading of the Palaly Airport to the international level was a significant victory achieved by the government within a short period of time.
He said the government will develop Palaly Airport as the country’s third international airport at a cost of Rs.22 billion to operate regional commercial flights by this October. The construction of the Palaly Airport commenced on July 5, would be completed on October 10 and scheduled to be declared open as an international airport on October 17 by the President Maithripala Sirisena.
The airport will be upgraded as a regional airport to handle international flights especially to South Indian cities under the first stage.
The first 950 metres of the runaway will be repaved to accommodate Bombardier C100 planes with a seating capacity of 72 on the renovated runaway. Under the second stage, the runaway will be further extended by another 1.5 metres. Then the airport will be able to handle aircraft within a distance of 1800 sq km. Under the third stage, the runaway is to be expanded to 2.3 km and it will handle large passenger aircraft such as airbus 320 and 321.
Accordingly, the number of international airports in the country had been increased to five. (Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA), Ratmalana International Airport, Jaffna International Airport, Batticoloa International Airport and Mahinda Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA) in Mattala) (Chaturanga Samarawickrama)