Cochin International Airport Ltd may bag deal to build Sri Lankan (weerawila)airport

Weerawila International airport

The Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL) - India's first airport built with private-public sector participation - may bag a deal to build a greenfield airport in Sri Lanka, the company said Thursday in a statement here.

A seven-member CIAL delegation, headed by managing director S. Bharath, is at present in the island nation and has held several rounds of talks with government ministers. It has also met President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Weerawila International airport-site plan

'On Jan 29, we (the delegation) were taken in a special Sri Lankan Air Force plane to the airport site at Weerawila in southern Sri Lanka for a visit and study,' the statement said.

'The proposed airport site is 15 km away from Hambanota in the southern province of Sri Lanka and around 300 km from Colombo. It is also the political constituency of Rajapaksa.'

Rajapaksa - on a visit to the famous Guruvayoor temple in Kerala two years ago - himself mooted the idea of CIAL building the airport in his country.

'The Sri Lankan president and other officials expressed satisfaction at the discussions held. The minister for ports and aviation informed us that they are keen to take the project forward and has requested all possible assistance from CIAL for this purpose.'

'A delegation of senior officials from the Sri Lankan government and the Airport Authority of Sri Lanka would visit CIAL within next few months to study our facilities here and to hold further discussions in the matter,' the company statement said.

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