Monday August 26, 2019

Sri Lanka to build second runway at Katunayake international airport

By Rohan Gunasekera

Jun 23, 2015 16:56 PM GMT+0530 | 6 Comment(s)

COLOMBO (EconomyNext) – Sri Lanka plans to build a second runway at its main airport, the Bandaranaike International Airport, Shibly Aziz, chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority said.

“The BIA needs to be expanded as a commercial hub,” Aziz told “If so, it is imperative there should be a second runway.”

The BIA at Katunayake, north of the capital Colombo, handles almost all scheduled commercial flights.

Aziz said the government wants to build a second runway as soon as possible as passenger and freight traffic was growing but said a timeframe had not yet been decided.

The planned second runway will be capable of handling the Airbus A380 aircraft, the world’s biggest commercial passenger jet.

Sri Lanka’s air travel industry was now recovering after the end the war, Aziz told a meeting of the Asia-Pacific aircraft accident investigation group of the International Civil Aviation Organization hosted by the Civil Aviation Authority that began in Colombo Tuesday.

“Now we’re on a trajectory of quick growth. We wish to catch up on lost time.

”There has been a steep spike in arrivals, more hotels are being built, there are more airline arrivals, and more investors are showing interest in Sri Lanka.”


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  1. liyanage April 17, 09:37 AM

    A second runway is a must for any international airport as some events like accidents, terrorist attacks ,damages can shut down the airport This is a long overdue requirement and as such should be started immediately. The efficiency and turn around times can also be improved

  2. Dubai returnee March 30, 08:41 AM

    Happy to note that construction of a second runway at BIA is almost accepted by the Government. Question is where is it and the distance between them, I am hopeful that the relevant authorities will take the right decision

  3. Revisit June 24, 01:41 AM

    Lankawatch Japan conducted a feasibility study in the early 2000s that is how hambanthota was identified amongst other areas for an airport, but the japanese ruled out hambanthota and other airports, the study found that the BIA with an extension of terminals and runway can suffice demand till 2040... this study was revisted and it was still confirmed a new airport is not required. The japanpanse government was willing to fun the extension of the katunayake airport but our smart leaders thought another airport would do. So technically, given our increase in tourism, expanding the runway and terminals in BIA is the right way to go. IF you study the dubai airport project you can get a clear understanding on how the decision process was logical and well directed.

  4. Dubai-returnee June 24, 08:45 AM

    Ref. first commentCorrect to say that a feasibility study should be done before starting on a project of this magnitude. If I am correct, I understand that a study was made by IATA, way back in 20023 as they would have felt the need for a second runway at BIA in preference to an alternate airport. Dubai quite rightly accepted the proposal of experts and succeeded in becoming a global aviation hub. We are not too late to become Asian hub. As Dr Mahthir of Malaysia once said, 'when building an airport think 100 years ahead'

  5. Lanka-Watch June 23, 11:11 AM

    Feasibility study is required to find whether a second runway is really required as building a runwayruns into billions of rupees, unlikea highway and certain govts. like Dubai built one before the demand existed as per study by experts but later started using it when traffic doubled and Dubai is an exception in terms of traffic as fuel is cheaper than other airports and various facilities are available at cheaper rates. It is not a prestigious issue to have more runways over requirements. Have a feeling that current runway can cope with the demand for the time being, and extend the present runway to accommodate A380s and other wide bodied aircraft extend the passenger holding areas. Everything should be NEW should not be the concept but maintain develop well, what is in existence

  6. Hadeniya June 23, 11:47 AM

    Additional land required for a second runway will have to be acquired at a very high cost. Besides, consultations with people who will be displaced would require careful handling.

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