Oct 23, 2006 (LBO) – Sri Lanka is to expand and re-surface its runway to handle jumbo sized A380 airbus aircraft, capitalising on delays that have pushed back release of the new super-sized planes to 2009.
Part of Emirates plans also includes new aircraft possibly 777-300s or A340s for Sri Lankan Airlines, though beefing up capacity will depend on the management contract with the government being extended past 2008.
Emirates Airline owns a 43.63 percent stake in SriLankan, the Sri Lankan government owns 51.05 percent and employees have a 5.32 percent share
Sri Lanka has about 500,000 foreign visitors each year, almost all of them travelling to the island by air.
Sri Lankaâ€™s only international airport has a single runway to support air traffic, which cannot bear the jumbo aircraft under current conditions.
We intend to overlay and widen to runway from 45 feet to 60 feet to support the larger A380 aircraft that will be coming in 2009, as well as do some work on the apron and taxiways, a senior officials with the ministry of transport and aviation told LBO.
The government is in the process of selecting a consultant to guide the expansion, with tenders for construction to