The expanded airstrip at Iranamadu, once used by the LTTE for its air operations, was declared open by President Mahinda Rajapaksa today.
The runway can handle aircraft such as the Hercules C-130 and Antonov AN-32.
The President was flown to Iranamadu in a MA-60 aircraft of the Sri Lanka Air Force Helitours. With the opening of the expanded runway Iranamadu becomes Sri Lanka’s sixteenth domestic airport.
Following the end of the war the airstrip was reconstructed and declared open in 2011 for light aircraft.
The LTTE had constructed a 600m long runway at the same site and destroyed it using bulldozers, prior to the Army retaking Iranamadu.
The reconstructed runway extends up to 1500m. The reconstruction work was carried by the Sri Lanka Air Force.
The improved facilities in the airport would promote the domestic aviation sector and provide access to the Northern Province with the development of tourism in the area to contribute towards the present nation building process, the Air Force said. (Colombo Gazette)