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Palaly airport flies high on hopes to get more wings

July 11, 2019

The official inauguration ceremony of the Palaly Airport development was held on 5th July 2019 under the patronage of Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation Hon. Arjuna Ranatunga at the Palaly Airport in Kankesanthurai.

The geo-strategic location of the airport closer to South Indian destinations is identified as a major strength of the airport while the Indian sector, which accounts for approximately 1.2 million passenger departures (from Sri Lanka to Indian Sectors) with an annual growth of 12% on average, is the most potential market segment. The extent of the Palaly runway will be expanded to 3,500 meters. Once the existing runway is upgraded to facilitate the operations of A320, Boeing 737, A318 and A319 aircraft, Indian destinations such as Chennai, Madurai, New Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Varanasi could be reached from Palaly airport. 

Under this project, the airport will be upgraded into an international airport in two phases. The Indian government has agreed to grant Rs 300 million for the project initially. The total cost of the project will be Rs. approximately 20 billion. Once completed, the Palaly airport will be managed and operated by the Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) Limited as it is third international airport. 

Palaly airport, which is located approximately 16 km north of Jaffna, was used as a Sri Lanka Air Force base and a domestic airport. The airport was built by the British Royal Air Force during World War II. After independence, Palaly Airport was used as the second international airport of the country, to operate flights to South India.

Photos by: AASL Media