Sri Lanka declares three new international airports taking total to five
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has declared three new domestic airports as international airports which will have border control facilities, taking the total up to five.
The newly declared Jaffna International Airport (IATA Code JAF) in Sri Lanka’s North welcomed its first international flight in October with India’s Alliance Air flying in a group of VIPs in a demonstrations flight. Scheduled operations are due to begin in November.
Ratmalana airport (IATA Code RML), bordering the capital Colombo and in Eastern Sri Lanka Batticaloa (IATA code BTC) was also declared international airports by Aviation Minister Arjuna Ranatunga on October 11.
Minister of Internal Affairs, Vajira Abeywardene, declared them approved ports of entry and departure under Sri Lanka’s immigration act on October 14.
Sri Lanka’s cabinet of ministers had already given the go ahead for the Civil Aviation Authority to allow foreign airlines operating to Sri Lanka to fly within Sri Lanka on a temporary one year license, in a far reaching liberalization.
Sri Lanka’s current administration had not engaged in any growth generating liberalizations up to now and continued the statist, policies of the Rajapaksa regime, with state enterprises making losses and no privatizations.
However monetary instability has worsened with the currency collapsing from 131 to 182 to the US dollar under a highly unstable soft-pegged regime labeled the ‘flexible exchange rate’.
The administration also passed up an opportunity to bring in a Air Asia subsidiary. (Colombo/Oct19/2019)