Monday, November 20, 2006

Sri Lanka begins work on second international airport

WEERAWILA, Sri Lanka, Nov 19, 2006 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's president Sunday marked his first year in office by launching work on a new international airport to handle the giant Airbus A380 airliner and pledging a major new port.

President Mahinda Rajapakse laid the foundation stone for a 125-million-dollar, 4,000-metre (13,200-feet) upgrade to a small airport at Weerawila, which is to become an international terminal by November 2009.

The airport is slated to handle two million passengers a year and will be the second international terminal in the country, where tourism is a mainstay of the economy.

"We are building this second international airport so that A380 planes could land here," Rajapakse said in a nationally-televised ceremony from Weerawila, 260 kilometres (162 miles) south of Colombo by road.

National carrier SriLankan Airlines is around 40 percent owned by Dubai-based Emirates, which has ordered 45 A380 planes, making it the largest single client for the outsized, European-built long-haul jet.

Weerawila is located within Rajapakse's home constituency of Hambantota, which he also pledged to make the country's second major seaport.

Rajapakse said an average of 180 ships pass Hambantota at the southern end of the island, which lies astride the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal, and the government hoped to set up a port there to service them with supplies.

At the ceremony, he said the infrastructure development work would not be curtailed by rising defence spending.

"I will not sell the lie. I will not say that development is not possible because of heavy defence expenditure," Rajapakse said. "We all need to work harder. Ensure economic progress."

No comments:

Post a Comment

Use this space to express your opinion about this post.Please do not use explicit words or links to other web sites or blogs. Including such prohibited things will result in not publishing your comments in the Blog.

Owners of this blog bears no responsibility for the ideas and opinion expressed by the numerous readers of this web site.

Best Pay Per Click Program with Minimum Payout Threshold