Government decides to delay August 1st reopening of airport

By Easwaran Rutnam

The Government has decided to delay the August 1st reopening of the Katunayake Airport.

Airport and Aviation Services Chairman, Major General (Rtd.) G.A. Chandrasiri told Colombo Gazette that the decision was taken to assist the ongoing programme to repatriate Sri Lankans.

He said that priority has been given to repatriate Sri Lankans before the airport is reopened for tourists.

“Our earlier plan was fine to reopen the airport on the 1st of August. But we found that several Sri Lankans have registered with Sri Lankan missions overseas seeking to come back so we need to give them priority,” he said.

Hundreds of Sri Lankans have returned to the country as the coronavirus spread around the world and more are on the waiting list.

Chandrasiri said that the authorities will face an issue if the airport is opened for tourists while Sri Lankans continue to return.

As a result a decision has been taken to delay the reopening by a few weeks.

“The airport is ready and prepared for the reopening but we will delay it by a few weeks,” he said.

Chandrasiri said that they will require a minimum of 2-3 additional weeks before the airport is reopened. (Colombo Gazette)