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Hingurakgoda Airport upgrade begins

The development of the Hingurakgoda Airport into an international civil airport has commenced, with the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) being tasked with extending its existing runway, according to the Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Aviation.

Speaking to The Sunday Morning Business, Minister of Ports, Shipping, and Aviation Nimal Siripala de Silva revealed that the development of the Hingurakgoda Airport into an international civil airport had begun and that the SLAF had already commenced the preliminary work.

“The preliminary work will be done by the Air Force, which has been assigned to construct the extension of the current runway,” he said.

However, he refused to provide a timeline for the transformation of the airport into an international civil airport, claiming that it was too premature to specify a timeline.

The Minister further revealed that the feasibility study – carried out by Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) Ltd. (AASL) – had been completed but said he was unaware of the contents of the report.

In announcing the Government’s decision last year to upgrade the Hingurakgoda Airport as an international civil airport, de Silva pointed out it would facilitate convenient visits to Polonnaruwa, Anuradhapura, Sigiriya, and Dambulla.

“A field study will be conducted pertaining to improving and developing the airport for the landing and takeoff of A330 aircraft. Extending the current 2,287 m runway up to 2,800 m, construction of an access way to the airport runway, setting up an air navigation system, and construction of an Air Traffic Control (ATC) tower and a passenger terminal at the airport were decided as essential measures,” he added, when announcing the decision.

During the 2024 Budget speech, President Ranil Wickremesinghe as the Minister of Finance announced that Rs. 2 billion would be allocated for the project.

The Morning

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