Uditha Kumarasinghe in Sunday Observer, 27 May 2012**
The Civil Aviation Ministry has decided to set up two domestic airports in Kandy and Nuwara Eliya, as set out under the Mahinda Chinthana vision for the future to develop Sri Lanka as an aviation hub. Aviation Minister Piyankara Jayaratne had held discussions with Central Province Chief Minister Sarath Ekanayake and other Government officials to establish domestic airports in Kandy and Nuwara Eliya. A land in Kundasale has already been identified to set up the domestic airport in Kandy.A committee which comprises the Ministry’s Secretary and other senior officials has been appointed to identify a suitable land and submit a report to set up the airport in Nuwara Eliya, Minister Jyaratne told the Sunday Observer yesterday. Meanwhile, the Ministry has also laid emphasis on the re-commencement of domestic flight operations to the Eastern Province due to the peaceful atmosphere in the country. Three domestic airports in Ampara, Batticaloa and Trincomalee will be fully modernised to conduct flight operations in a more efficient manner.
|Airport to Kandy: Agriculture Minster opposes choice of land By Damith Wickremasekara in SUNDAY TIMES 27 May 2012|
|A Cabinet Minister has rejected the proposed site selected for a domestic airport in Kandy on the grounds that the location was one of the country’s most fertile grounds needed for agricultural experiments.Agriculture Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena told the Sunday Times that the site selected was considered a ‘national treasure’ which had been initially selected by the British for agricultural studies.
Some 300 acres which encompasses the Agriculture School in Karandagolla, Kundasale was selected by Minister Keheliya Rambukwella after President Mahinda Rajapaksa directed the construction of a domestic airport in Kandy. Mr. Abeywardena said the location was the only place which experienced weather conditions of the dry zone as well as the wet zone enabling the carrying out of cultivations for research purposes, including the production of seed.In addition, the agriculture school has produced a large number of agricultural experts, he said
He said that the Air Force was already in the process of carrying out the preliminary studies for the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), but as the Minister of Agriculture he will not allow the project to go ahead at that location.
** Seaplanes are already flying to Kandy, Nuwara Eliya and Koggala from Kelaniya area … Web Editor