Nov 18, Colombo: Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa Wednesday launched the Phase II of Bandaranaike International Airport Expansion project, the largest development project to be launched in the country this year.
Ambassador of Japan to Sri Lanka Akira Sugiyama attended the groundbreaking ceremony of the BIA Project Phase 2 and Prasanna Ranatunga, Minister of Tourism and D.V. Chanaka, State Minister of Aviation and Export Zones Development joined to grace the occasion.
Today’s groundbreaking ceremony marked the construction of a new multi-level passenger terminal building, which will increase the passenger handling capacity of the BIA to approximately 15 million passengers per annum.
While using Japanese advanced technology and expertise, the building will provide barrier-free access and environmentally friendly features benevolent both to the people and the nature.
The two-part project consisting of ‘Package A’ and ‘Package B’ is funded by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The Government of Japan has provided a loan of 74397 million Yen (131.5 billion rupees) for the project.
Japan has extended assistance for the development of the BIA through expansion and refurbishment of facilities in different phases since 1981, according to the Embassy of Japan in Colombo.
Speaking at the event, Ambassador Sugiyama stated that BIA project stands as an icon of the friendship between Japan and Sri Lanka, as it edges closer to the 70th anniversary of Japan-Sri Lanka diplomatic relations in 2022. And also this will further consolidate the long-standing economic relations between the two countries and open a new horizon for the time-honored relationship.
Ambassador also extended the warm wishes to both the President and Prime Minister as the groundbreaking ceremony coincided with the first year anniversary of Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s Presidency and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa’s 75th Birthday.