Tuesday, May 26, 2009

An Air Port for Trinco!

By Kurulu Kariyakarawana
The Immigration and Emigration Department is to take over operations at the Trincomalee Harbour from next month and will establish a sub office in the district, as a move towards preparing for the proposed international airport to be developed in China Bay in the future. Immigration and Emigration Chief P.B. Abeykoon said the department would set up a sub office in Trincomalee to take over duties at the Trincomalee Harbour from June 15. He said presently the duties at the Trincomalee Harbour had been conducted by the police due to security reasons and now that the war was over the operations would be taken over by the department. Mr. Abeykoon said that in future all operations like checking people and vessels that would be anchoring in the harbour, freight forwarding operations etc., would be monitored and would be done under the purview of the department. He said the new arrangements were being put in place as a part of the development and rehabilitation programmes being carried out in the Eastern Province to upgrade industries like tourism following the liberation of the areas from terrorism. Mr. Abeykoon said discussions were being held at official level to upgrade the China Bay airport now under the Air Force, to an international airport in future. “The project is chiefly being handled by the Civil Aviation Authority and the Department of Immigration and Emigration will also be involved in arranging other necessities like opening an office in the area. The day is not very far where passenger planes could land in Trincomalee,” he said. Airport and Aviation Deputy Minister Sarath Kumara Gunaratne told Daily Mirror the government was planning to upgrade all minor domestic airports in the country with better facilities and new technology. He said airports like Hingurakgoda, Koggala and China Bay will be upgraded to develop domestic trips which will directly influence the trade of tourism in future. The Minister said work on the second international airport in Hambantota which was shifted to Mattala from Weerawila due to environmental issues would also begin soon.

An international Airport for Trinco? Why is everything becoming international lately, wouldn't a domestic airport do? Banudev at Skyscraper city has his own views since he seems to be really keen about airports, he goes on to say...

"Developing the Trimcomalee airport might work for Sri Lanka. It has plenty of area for future developments and aircraft parking. But China-Bay's current runway is 2393metres long and there is no way to extend the runway as it has blocked by river.... Therefore, they must need the 2nd runway with atleast 3500 metres long to allow the large aircraft landing. Trimcomalee could be used for serving Far East and Indian flights."

Image copyright Banudev@skyscrapercity

Also an interesting link to Banudev's Airport web site can be found here