Sri Lankan government focus on developing country’s aviation industry
Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has reportedly instructed officials to complete the Rs. 108 billion extension of the country’s main Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) before the end of 2023.
The President’s Media Division (PMD) had recently made this announcement.
The construction of the second terminal, which commenced in 2014, was scheduled for completion in 2017.
Head of Sri Lanka’s Presidential Task Force on Economic Revival, Basil Rajapaksa, was quoted in the PMD statement saying that it should be developed as a “Smart Terminal” with all technological facilities to suit the year 2023.
The President had made these remarks during a discussion held at the Presidential Secretariat late last month on the future activities of Sri Lanka’s State Ministry of Aviation and Export Zones Development.
The course of action that should be taken in the face of adverse impact on the airports and airlines caused by the disruption in the airline industry due to the COVID-19 outbreak had been discussed in detail.
President Rajapaksa had instructed the authorities to complete the construction work of the airport as early as possible by working round the clock utilizing the opportunity created by the disruption of airport operations, the statement has noted.
Annually over 15 million passengers are to be facilitated with services and mission control following the completion of the second terminal and arrivals and departures will commence to operate as two separate terminals with the construction of the second terminal at BIA. It has been planned to install e-Gate facilities to ensure a smooth and efficient service for passengers.
In addition, a parking space for passengers is to be constructed adjacent to the airport.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka’s Mattala Airport has handled 270 flight operations since this January, facilitating over 12,000 passengers.
The need to provide hotel accommodation with maximum facilities for flight crew in the vicinity of the Mattala airport had also been discussed in the meeting.
Plans have also been devised to expand the Ratmalana Airport with the installation of the latest technological facilities.
Special attention had been paid to promote Sandhathanna, Seethaeliya and Digana for internal flight operations focusing on the country’s Central Province.
President Rajapaksa had further instructed officials to establish a flight school in collaboration with the Civil Aviation Authority and Sri Lankan Airlines to train novice pilots. The President added that foreign students should be allowed to train as well.
The move to develop Sri Lanka’s aviation industry that requires the development of supplementary infrastructure facilities related to the sector has opened up many business/investment opportunities in Sri Lanka’s aviation industry. Given the positioning of Sri Lanka as a business hub in the South Asian region and the forecast in the growth of the country’s tourism industry, expansion in the country’s aviation industry without doubt would be a lucrative business/investment opportunity.
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