International airport security tightened further

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 22 March 2000, 13:20 GMT]
Persons going to bid farewell to passengers at Sri Lanka's heavily secured international airport will no longer be able to enter its departure terminal according another security measure announced today jointly by the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Civil Aviation.

According to the new regulation which will come into effect from Monday, March 27, no one except the passenger will be allowed to enter the airport building. Currently the airport levies a charge of 100 rupees (1.4 USD) for each person accompanying the passenger to the departure lounge. Visitors are let into the airport departure terminal on producing the entry tickets.

Sri Lanka's only international airport in Katunayaka, north of Colombo, is heavily defended by the Sri Lanka Air Force, Police and armed special security personnel. All vehicles and persons entering the airport are searched at two check points on the approach road.

Defence ministry sources said that the new measure has been introduced in view of a serious security threat from the Liberation Tigers to the Sri Lanka Air Force facilities and Kfir jet bombers at the Bandaranaike international airport.

The following is the press release jointly issued this afternoon by the MoD and the Ministry of Tourism and Civil aviation:

"It has been decided on grounds of security to limit the access of visitors who accompany the departing passengers at the Banadaranaike airport. They will be permitted access only up to the main entrance of the departure terminal. This arrangement will come into force with effect from Monday 27 March 2000.

Hence the issue of tickets to enter the departure lobby at the airport will cease to operate from 27th March."


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