The Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) runway will be renovated at a cost of US $18 million. Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) Ltd. Chairman Saman Ediriweera said. Under the project, it has been planned to overlay the runway. The BIA has only one runway and over 950,000 aircraft operations have been carried out since its’ commissioning over three decades.
The runway has been designed and constructed in the mid-eighties to meet the then requirements. The overlaying project will limit to three months from January 5 next year to April 5 and the overlaying work will be carried out from 8.00 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. daily.
During this period no flights will be carried out and airlines are informed to carry out their flight operations from 4.30 p.m. to 8.00 a.m.. Ediriweera said. “After commissioning air traffic, no major rehabilitation work has been carried out to the runway.
Therefore, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has recommended an overlaying of the runway to improve runway surface condition for safe operations of aircraft.” he said. In line with the overlaying of the existing runway, several airport sector development activities such as overlaying of parallel taxiways, connecting taxiways, design of new rapid exit taxiways (RETs) and by pass taxiways, installation of new airfield ground lighting (AGL) system and modification of existing apron will be carried out.
All these moves are being taken to handle a further nine million passenger per annum aiming to cater to the ever increasing passenger volume in the region. With the BIA development project being carried out in three stages, the passenger handling capacity of the BIA will be enhanced by further nine million passengers per annum and on completion, the total passenger handling capacity of the airport will be increased to 15 million passengers per annum.