Indian company may build Sri Lanka airport

March 16th, 2008 - 1:50 pm ICT by admin  

Kochi, March 16 (IANS) The Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL), which built India’s first airport with private-public sector participation, may construct a greenfield airport in Sri Lanka. The ball is now in the court of the Sri Lankan and Indian governments and they were discussing the project, S. Bharath, managing director of CIAL, told IANS.

In January, Sri Lanka invited CIAL to construct the airport at Weerawila in the country’s south.

“The Sri Lankan government is keen to give us the contract. We are ready to take it up and for that we also require the support of the central government because funds are a problem,” he said.

“The option before us is to get a viability gap funding from the centre for this project.”

The Kerala government and several NRIs hold stakes in CIAL, which built and operates the Cochin airport.

A seven-member CIAL delegation headed by Bharath visited Sri Lanka in January and held several rounds of talks with the government. The delegation also met President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

The proposed airport site is around 300 km from Colombo in the parliamentary constituency of Rajapaksa.

Rajapaksa - on a visit to the Kerala’s Guruvayoor temple two years ago - himself mooted the idea of CIAL building the airport.

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