Ratmalana airport will be upgraded to int’l status in January- Nimal

Published : 9:10 am  August 3, 2018 | No comments so far |  | 


 reads | 


By Sandun A Jayasekera

The Ratmalana Airport will be made an international Airport handling foreign flights and serving as the country’s main airport for charter flights and private jets by January 2019, Transport and Civil Aviation Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva said yesterday.   

He added that the refurbishment and modernization of the Ratmalana Airport also known as the ‘Colombo Airport’ will cost the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) of Sri Lanka some Rs. 13 billion.  

Minister De Silva told the media at the Ratmalana Airport after he made an inspection tour yesterday that the entire refurbishment, fixing modern equipment, introducing new technology and construction of new buildings would be entirely handled by the CAA and not a single private contractor or company would be involved.  

“Our aim is to make the Ratmalana Airport more productive and profitable by providing facilities and handling international flights. In this endeavour, it is essential to introduce modern technology to the airport. During the war, Ratmalana Airport made a huge contribution to safeguard the country’s national security, territorial integrity and sovereignty. We would ensure that any of these national responsibilities will not be affected in the upgrading and modernization programme of the airport,” he stressed.   Minister De Silva noted that two hangers used by Sri Lanka Air Force and administrative buildings would be handed over to the Airport and the CAA would pay Rs. 700 million to the Air Force to construct new hangers and buildings for its use.  

A flight training school to train Sri Lankan youth as commercial pilots will also be established at the airport and hangers will be used to facilitate private jets and charter flights. In the next five years, there will be vacancies for 80,000 pilots in the global air travel industry.   

All domestic airports at Batticaloa, Sigiriya, Palali, Hingurakgoda and Koggala were in the pipeline for expansion and modernization to give a boost to tourism and local domestic air travel.