BIA: stalled work to resume in Sept- Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva | Sunday Observer

BIA: stalled work to resume in Sept- Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva

16 July, 2023

The Japanese Government and the Japan international corporate Agency (JAICA) have assured that the stalled Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) terminal 2 development will commence in September, said Minister of Aviation, Nimal Siripala de Silva.

At a media conference at the Airport Aviation Authority yesterday in view of Sri Lanka Aviation Day in Katunayake, he said that this will be after Sri Lanka completes the domestic Debt Restructuring process in September.

He said that the local government too is commencing operational work for the terminal 2 allowing large aircraft such as the A380 to land.

The Minister said that they have also gone ahead and will be installing four Egates at the Colombo international airport and they will be ready by January next year.

“The International Organization for Migration (IOM) too is donating 12 E gates for Sri Lanka and the airport will be completely operated on egates by 2024.

“We will then look at having an e-passport clearing system installed at the Colombo international airport by the end next year.”

The Minister said Sri Lanka has been maintaining a good safety record and this had also prompted many international airlines to fly to Sri Lanka.

“Also the issue where international airlines could not take their cash remittance outside has now been cleared.”

Minster recalled that during the pandemic srilankan did not lay off staff though airlines like Kuwait airways removed over 70 pilots. “Srilankan also paid half salaries to staff including pilots thought they did not fly”

Vice President International Air Transport Association, Philip Goh said Sri Lanka was one of the first countries in the region to open after the Covid-19 pandemic, maintaining a very sound safety record.

Asked by Sunday Observer if a small country such as Sri Lanka having five airports is too much he answered in the negative.