Sri Lankan govt says Batticaloa airport to be developed as an international airport
Sri Lankan government has said that it will develop Batticaloa airport in eastern province as an international airport with Indian assistance. Minister of Tourism and aviation Prasanna Ranatunga said, the Indian government has extended its fullest cooperation to develop the domestic airport and it has been discussed with the Indian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka Taranjit Singh Sandhu recently.
He said that the Government of India would like to extend its air services to Batticaloa airport as well. Currently, airline services to India are available to Bandaranaike International Airport near Colombo and Jaffna international Airport in Tamil-majority north.
Jaffna airport got operationalized in August after the landing of the inaugural flight from Chennai. Eastern province also has a majority of Tamil population along with other communities.
Batticaloa Airport was established in 1958 but due to the war situation, the Sri Lanka Air Force took over the airport in 1983 and operated as a base for the Sri Lanka Air Force.
The current services from Chennai to Jaffna is proposed to be extended to Batticalao when the airport is operationalized.