Direct international flights available from Sri Lanka to several southern cities. As per the latest news reports, Sri Lanka’s domestic military airport in the Tamil-dominated northern Jaffna peninsula has been upgraded, from where these flights will be operated.
Referring to this, the Ministry of Aviation stated that the Palaly Airport was converted into an international airport following the start of operations in July this year. This airport will be formally declared as an international airport soon.
The Palaly airfield was previously a designated military facility that was used by the Sri Lankan Air Force during the three decade long civil war. When the war ended in 2009, Sri Lanka upgraded the airfield into Jaffna International Airport, with assistance provided by the Indian government. And the initial pact to develop the airport was signed in 2005.
The upgradation of the said airport is happening during a time when China is making major inroads into Sri Lanka with major infrastructure projects as part of its ambitious Belt and Road Initiative. Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena was also present during the inauguration of this airport along with Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
Taranjit Sandhu India’s high commissioner to Sri Lanka, in his speech, stated that this is yet another example of India’s commitment to continue with people-oriented development projects in Sri Lanka.