The government has turned down India’s offer to develop the Palali airport and instead decided to handle it under the Ministry of Civil Aviation, it is reported.
After the war was over, India undertook several projects in the North and among them was the development of the Kankesanthurai harbour. India in addition came forward to modernize the Palali airport, but the agreement was not signed.
However, it is learnt that the government has decided to implement the northern airport project without going in for a joint venture with India.
Asked about this matter, Civil Aviation Minister Priyankara Jayaratne said his Ministry would undertake the project to expand the airport to be operated for commercial activities and for the use of the Air Force.
“We are planning to operate the airport jointly with the Air Force,” he said.
The Minister also said ten domestic airports would be constructed in the country with the Ratmalana airport being expanded as the largest base for internal flights. He asserted that the government had only proposed a domestic airport in Kandy despite some people mistaking it for a third international airport.
“We have two international airports. One is the Katunayake airport while the second is being constructed in Mattala, Hambantota. It is only a domestic airport proposed in Kandy,” he said.
The Minister said the lands of the School of Agriculture in Kundasale and the adjoining seed farm would not be compromised for this airport.
“We have identified four lands for it. After the environmental impact assessment, we will select the most suitable one. We will not compromise agricultural activities for it. Some people cry to create unnecessary problems saying that the School of Agriculture will be relocated in view of the proposed airport project,” he said.
In the 2012 budget, Rs.750 million was allocated for the project. (Kelum Bandara)
Comments - 16
Vaidy Tuesday, 26 June 2012 12:31 PM
Palaly was able to recieve a VC 10 aircraft in 1977 as the ground was hard .RAF chose Palaly for south east asia operations since 1942.It is well suited for development as an international airport with least expense.
Asoka Monday, 25 June 2012 03:11 AM
Never ever trust India, good move by the government of Sri Lanka. Well judge decision taken bye Sri Lanka government. Unbowed and Unaffraid.
Kondebendapucheena Monday, 25 June 2012 03:19 AM
We Just said No Thanks Pal
W. Kanthi Monday, 25 June 2012 10:02 AM
Not when Indira Gandhi was in office.
Amila Tuesday, 26 June 2012 03:53 AM
take a domestic flight or a highway in 2014. wait and see.
Nodrog Monday, 25 June 2012 04:03 AM
Good move. Less Indian involvement here the better. Don't like their attitude towards us.
Saleem Monday, 25 June 2012 11:24 AM
Palaly urgently needs an international airport to facilitate passengers who otherwise waste more than 12 hours to travel from Colombo once landed at Katunayake Airport.
willows Monday, 25 June 2012 04:05 AM
trouble times on the horizon???
dav Monday, 25 June 2012 01:45 PM
Beggars can't be choosers mate. This is trivial. The real problem is that we've already sold our soul to China. Noone seems to realise that!
Rodrigo Tuesday, 26 June 2012 06:11 AM
I agree with you. Lets get rid of our tamil and muslim problem. India has both of these groups in large numbers. So trouble is for India in the future.
Richardson Monday, 25 June 2012 05:19 AM
Its a long term plan to take over Sri Lanka
Nice try India.
Sanath R Monday, 25 June 2012 05:36 AM
Very good to have said "NO". We should stick to it by not waivering afterwards.
bandara Monday, 25 June 2012 05:36 AM
where is the money for all these 'developments". sounds like SL is a very affluent country now, we seem to be building more airports than roads ( or schools and hospitals)
Hussain Monday, 25 June 2012 05:56 AM
It sounds like a Trojan Horse. Its good we declined their offer. Have to worry about Greeks bearing gifts !
Rohan Seneviratne Monday, 25 June 2012 05:52 AM
We Srilankans should treat the Indians with absolute contept they were never our true neigbours be Srikankan and desist in buying anything of Indian origin start with boycotting Indian fuel posted by Rohan Seneviratne
Calistus Jayatilleke Tuesday, 26 June 2012 11:12 AM
For once, the little brother had enough guts to say no to the Big Bullying Brother.
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