India to develop Palaly Airport in Jaffna, Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka will ink an MoU with India to the tune of Rs. 300 million to
develop the Palaly airport in Jaffna, Minister of Tourism Prasanna Ranatunge
said.according to reports in the Sri Lankan media
MoU is likely to be signed in two weeks
The Minister said that he hopes to obtain Sri Lankan Cabinet's approval for
this and the MoU is likely to be signed in two weeks. The funding will largely
focus on the expansion of the passenger terminal at the Palali Airport, as well
as the luggage inspection area.
Air India and Fits Air operated scheduled flights to Palali in the heart of
Jaffna peninsula to Chennai, but these operations were halted after the Covid
Pandemic. The flights were operated for hardly a month before being wound up.
Air India pressed into service turbo propelled small aircrafts in this service
for the hour long service from Chennai to Palaly airport in Jaffna.
India earlier pledged to grant a sum of Rs 300 million for the expansion,
just weeks after the airport was ceremoniously opened by receiving a flight
from Chennai. The MoU has already been drafted.
Minister Ranatunge with State Minister of Aviation and Export Zones
Development, D. V. Chanka met Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Gopal
Bagley and held discussions in this regard.
from India to Sri Lanka also discussed
The trio also discussed tourism promotion from India to Sri Lanka. “Once
the Covid pandemic settles India is keen to accept Sri Lanka Buddhist pilgrims
to visit the Kununurra Sacred city. The High Commissioner said that Indian
investors are keen to invest in Sri Lanka and this aspect too would be perused.
The Pallly airport was originally built by the Royal Air Force during World
War II, after which it functioned as the country’s second international
airport. It was taken over by the Sri Lanka Air Force during the Sri Lankan
Civil War. After the end of the conflict in 2009, the Palali Airport was opened
last year and was renamed as Jaffna International Airport.