Colombo, July 3 (Daily Mirror) – Tourism and Civil Aviation Minister, Prasanna Ranatunga, on Thursday visited the Batticaloa domestic airport and pledged to re-develop and upgrade it and give it a much-needed facelift for the convenience of tourists, both local and foreign.
During his visit, Ranatunga advised officials to prepare a suitable plan for this purpose and to list the basic facilities required for air operations.
During his visit, Ranatunga said the Batticaloa airport should be developed as an attractive travel destination for tourists while developing the Eastern Province as a tourist destination.
The funds which will be allocated for this uplift is yet to be announced.
However, this seems to be the third time that the focus revolves around re-developing and uplifting the Batticaloa airport.
In a much hyped-up event, held back in March 2018, Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva, who was the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation in the Maithripala Sirisena government declared open the re-developed airport after the reconstruction of the runway, apron and terminal building.a staggering Rs. 1.4 billion was borne by the Treasury back then for this purpose and a plaque was unveiled to declare it open for civil aviation.
It was also then gazetted as an international airport.
Siripala had in front of the media also said the government back then will start building an aviation school before the end of the year back in 2018.
This time, he said Batticaloa needed to be transformed into a tourist destination but nothing much was done after he left the district that day, back then. (Jamila Husain)