New international airport for Sri Lanka's South
[TamilNet, Sunday, 19 November 2006, 21:53 GMT]
The ceremonial laying of the foundation for Sri Lanka's second international airport at Weerawilla in Hambantota, the constituency of Sri Lanka's President Rajapakse, took place Sunday around 10:00 a.m to coincide with Mr. Rajapakse's completion of one year since his becoming President, sources said.
The ceremony was attended by foreign diplomats, political dignitaries, Buddhist religious heads and public, sources said.
Hambantota international airport, constructed in an area of 150 hectares with four km runways, will start operating by 2009. The new airport and the proposed port, according to Sri Lanka Government's plans, will spur economic development in Hambantota and will transform the district into a tourist destination, political sources said.
The airport located 180 kilometers south of Colombo in Weerawilla, will have a 4,000-meter runway and will cost an estimated US$125 million for the first stage of development, media sources in Colombo said.