Written by Tharushan Fernando
22 Dec, 2016 | 10:04 pm
A Chinese company has been handed over the task of renovating the runway of the Bandaranaike International Airport at an agreed cost of Rs.7.2 billion.
Under the first phase of developing the Colombo International Airport in 1986, the runway at the Bandaranaike International Airport was completed with an expected life-span of 20 years.
However, the runway has been used for around three decades without any carpet being added , prompting authorities to take measures to renovate it.
Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation, Nimal Siripala De Silva said that the required infrastructure for the Mattala Airport has not been provided. Therefore Airlines do not prefer to fly to Mattala. “If not, we could have completed the renovations in two months, ” he said. He added that advice was sought and looked in to as to how other countries handle such things. And it was understood that the when the runaway is being renovated the airport must be shutdown for a few hours.
The renovations on the runway will be done by Shanghai CAAC New Era Airport Design & Research Institute Co. Ltd. and China National Aero-technology International Engineering Corporation. Head of Civil Engineering (Planning & Designs) for the Airport and Aviation Services, G. Withanage noted that 85% of the required materials have been brought here and machinery is continuously being received while plans are in place to commence the renovations on Janaury 6, and conclude it by April 6.
The airport will be shutdown for a period of eight hours each day. In addition there will be no domestic flights operating from the BIA during the period in which the renovation takes placed. All domestic flights will operate from the Ratmalana Airport. In addition, the Mattala International Airport will be also be used for operations during the said period after obtaining the required permission.
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