Sri Lanka to develop five domestic airports to boost tourism

Published on : Tuesday, July 27, 2021

The Sri Lanka Government will soon develop five domestic airports at Sigiriya, Anuradhapura, Hingurakgoda, Koggala and Ampara to boost tourism, Tourism Minister Parana Ranatunga said.


There are 10 air strips which are already being maintained by the Sri Lanka Air Force namely Sigiriya, Weerawila, Koggala, Katukurunda, Anuradhapura, Ampara, Weerawila, Vavuniya and Puttalam. Meanwhile, the airports of Jaffna and Ratmalana are maintained by Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) Ltd.


Minister Ranatunga said that Sigiriya could be an attraction for both local and foreign tourism while Koggala is an attraction for whale watching. He also said that an airport at Ampara could lead the tourists to the Eastern beaches of Arugam Bay and Trincomalee while airports in and around Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa could also lure tourists to the ancient cities, he said.


There had also been proposals to develop airports in Bandarawela, Nuwara Eliya and Digana. The development of an Airport at Nuwara Eliya had been thought of near the Seetha Eliya seed farm and Gregory’s Lake, but the operational feasibility in that area had not been very suitable. While the Minister stressed that feasibility is being conducted in other areas, the Sri Lanka Air Force is also examining the feasibility of finding a site in Digana as well.


“The Government is exploring strategies of improving infrastructure for tourism development with the gradual eradication of COVID-19 and the expansion of domestic airports is also a part of that programme,” the Minister said.

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