(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation, Nimal Siripala de Silva said that the development of the Palaly Airport will never be given to a foreign country and it will be developed under the financial provisions of the Government. The Minister said that six domestic airports will also be developed soon.
A special discussion was held at the Ministry auditorium yesterday under the patronage of the Minister to devise a strategic plan to more effectively use the Ratmalana, Batticaloa, Palaly, Sigiriya, Koggala and Digana airports in order to make domestic air services more systematic.
A 25-acre land at the airport ground at Ratmalana has been re-taken from the Sri Lanka Air Force and the infrastructure facilities needed for civilian aircraft operations have already commenced.
The Transport Ministry has agreed to pay over Rs. 750 million to the Sri Lanka Air Force to construct the new terminals and already has paid an advance of Rs. 250 million.
During the discussion, the Air Force officials informed the Minister that the land and the buildings will be handed over to the Civil Aviation Services before 31 December.
The Minister instructed the officials to immediately take steps to commence the necessary infrastructure development activities to develop the Ratmalana Airport as a facility for landing medium-sized aircraft and private jets.
It was revealed that already plans have been prepared to buy new technology for aircraft operations, to install a new signal tower, and to build a new hangar.
The Minister also instructed the officials to provide opportunities to call competitive bids to establish a private jet terminal at the Ratmalana airport.
It was decided to take immediate steps to implement the regional airport development program and also to repair the runway of the Koggala Airport.
It was also decided that development of the Palaly Airport should not be given to a foreign country.