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Tuesday, 11 December 2012

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DEVELOPMENT

SL’s second airport to be opened in March



Presidnet Mahinda Rajapaksa vising the control tower during a recent visi tto HIA


Chairman, Airport Aviation, Prasanna Wickramasuriya, with some officials after the completion of a test flight

Sri Lanka’s second International Airport in Hambantota (HIA) is to be opened next March, opening a new chapter in Sri Lanka's aviation history.

International trade, tourism, vocational training and employment would be boosted with the opening of the new airport and most importantly, it would increase connectivity between Sri Lanka and foreign countries. Chairman, Airport Aviation, Prasanna Wickramasuriya, said that the new airport was expected to be a boon to the local aviation industry, while being a catalyst to the country’s economic development.

“There were many airlines making inquires to add new routes and increase frequencies. However, due to ‘congestion’ in Colombo's International Airport, such requests were on hold and the new airport at HIA would enable them to fly to Sri Lanka,” he said.


The control tower in the shape of a lotus being constructed

The new airport would also cater to cargo which would help the fisheries and the agriculture sector in several provinces by opening up new opportunities to the private sector.

One of the other key advantages of HIA is the close proximity of the Hambantota harbour and the new investment zone being built. The progress of the airport is well ahead of schedule and the AASL is also taking great pains to market the airport both, local and global.

The fire and rescue area with modern fire brigades was one of the first sectors to be completed and followed by the control tower, runway, apron, waste water plant, cargo terminal and other key infrastructure falling in to place. The investment for the project is US $ 210 million with an initial construction covering an extent of 800 hectares.

The Runway would be 3,500 metres in length with a width of 75 metres. Taxiways would be 60 metres long.

The taxiway would be from the centre line of the runway to the edge of the apron and the Apron would consist of 10 parking slots, initially with the total being 80.

Some of the ongoing development Construction of the overhead bridge
The access road The Cargo terminal Pictures by Saliya Rupaisnghe
Inside the terminal  
 
The fire and rescue area (left) and two engineers at the site  
   

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