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    SLTPB to invest Rs 1,050 mn for Palaly development

    Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) will invest Rs. 1,050 million to assist in the refurbishment and the development of the Palaly domestic airport into an international airport.

    Managing Director SLTPB, Johanne Jayaratne speaking to Daily News said that this amount would be released from the Tourism Development Fund. “It would be released to the Ministry of Civil Aviation in three installments.”

    He said that with the granting of free visa to 48 countries including India the Palaly international airport would get attention from Indian airlines and tourists. “This will be major boost for the tourism industry in the North.”

    Meanwhile, Airport Aviation official said that the international Air Transport Association (IATA) approvals have been received (IATA code JAF) to operate international flights. “There is enthusiasm from the Indian aviation sector to commence flight operations to Palaly”.

    IndiGo an Indian low-cost airline headquartered at Haryana, India and the largest airline in India by passengers carried and fleet size, with a 48.1% domestic market share as of June 2019 is expected to be the first international airline to operate to Palaly.

    Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Wednesday said that the Cabinet has approved a special discounted package for international airlines.

    This includes reduction of Ground Handling Charges, Aviation Fuel and the Embarkation Levy in the aviation sector for six months.

    Meanwhile, Transport and Civil Aviation Minister Arjuna Ranatunga said that the government will invest Rs. 19.5 billion to upgrade the Palaly international airport and work towards this, commenced last month.

    Palaly Airport would be upgraded and ready as Sri Lanka’s third international airport to operate regional commercial flights by September.

    The first 950 meters of the runway will be revamped to handle Bombardier C100 planes with seating capacity of 72 on the renovated runaway.

    Courtesy – Daily News

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