Jan 12, Colombo: Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) has initiated the process of handing over its facilities at Ratmalana to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) this week.
The SLAF said the relinquishing of facilities and areas occupied by the SLAF in the Ratmalana Airport environs commenced this week. A conference to finalize the modalities of the handover was held on January 7. The specialist checking of the buildings' inventories had begun soon after.
The handing over is the culmination of discussions between the Civil Aviation Authority and the Air Force. The final agreement was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers on December 12, 2017.
Three Air Force flying formations, namely the No 8 Light Transport Squadron, Helitours Ltd., and No 61 Flight were shifted to temporary locations until the construction of the alternate hangar and apron infrastructure within the Air Force Base in Ratmalana.
A total land area of approximately 25 acres will be handed over to the Civil Aviation Authority when the transfer is completed. The Air Movement section, previously located at the Ratmalana Air Port complex, will also be relocated within the Air Force Base in Ratmalana. It will handle all military air movements once operations recommence when the alternate accommodations are complete.
The Ratmalana Airport, being the first international airport in Sri Lanka was operating as the major international airport up to the year 1969.
The airport which has been located very close to the major commercial city in Colombo, with easy access to all the main roads, presently operates around 70 domestic aircraft movements per day, the airport serves domestic aviation needs including commercial passenger flights, Aviation Training,
During the war, the airport was used mainly for Sri Lanka Air Force operations and after the war ended in 2009, it was re-opened for civil aviation services.