Sri Lanka international airport plans expansion

July 23, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s sole international airprot has plans to expand further if traffic grows beyond existing capacity with the end of a three decade internal war, a senior official said.

But he said in the post-war environment demand for aviation will grow.

“Aviation is very sensitive to war and also very sensitive to peace,” he told a seminar on rebuilding transport infrastructure damaged by war in the north and east organsied by the Chamber of Construction Industry.

“There was an 8.1 percent growth in passenger movements at the BIA in June just after the war was over compared with last year,” Abeywardena said.

Traffic to the north and east is also expected to grow with more business travellers, tourists and domestic travellers. Existing capacity at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA), north of Colombo, is enough to handle aircraft, passenger and cargo movements until 2013, under current projections, said Samantha Abeywardena, senior assistant airport manager.

Abeywardena of Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka), which operates the island’s airports, said there had been a significant increase in traffic at the airport in June, just a month after the