Jaffna's Palali Airport to undergo LKR 1 billion in development - Opportunity Sri Lanka
Jaffna’s Palali Airport to undergo LKR 1 billion in development

Jaffna’s Palali Airport to undergo LKR 1 billion in development

The Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) is said to be assessing the viability of injecting LKR 1 billion in state funds towards development of Jaffna’s Palali Airport, which is primarily utilised by the military but occasionally accommodates charter flights permitting the landing of light civilian aircraft.
In November of this year, the LKR 1 billion fund allocation will be proposed in the 2018 Budget Proposal.
Subject to availability of required funding the airport will be developed to facilitate civilian requirements.
Previously the government of India had indicted its attentiveness in restructuring Palali into a regional airport and in 2016 had discussed the matter with Sri Lanka’s Aviation Ministry, but is yet to reply to an inquiry made by Sri Lanka’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) regarding the plan.
India had signalled its interest in carrying-out direct flights from cities in the states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu into Jaffna, even without a redevelopment plan being implemented.
However Indian interest was subject to political backlash from key figures like the Chief Minister of the Northern Province, C.V. Wigneswaran who communicated his resistance of the plan to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
The LKR 1 billion development plan is expected to cover areas such as expanding the terminal which currently can accommodate only 200 persons, and extending the 1km airstrip by 200 metres to give way to a longer 1.2 km runway.
At present the Sri Lanka Air Force runs air transport vehicles like the Antonov An32 transport aircraft and Hercules C130, with civil air service operatorsHelitours operating Chinese Xian MA60 type aircrafts.


The project provides the public private partnership (PPP) opportunities for interested parties. Also, if the development plan were implemented other civil air service operators will be able to extend their services to the North as well. The upgrading of the Palali airport resulting in an increase in civilian flights to the North would help boost tourism as well as business opportunities in the region.

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Article Code : VBS/AT/06092017/Z_8

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