COLOMBO, July 30 (Xinhua) -- The Sri Lankan government on Tuesday said it will begin to accommodate regional flights from the Indian subcontinent into the upgraded Palaly Airport in Sri Lanka's north from September, in order to boost tourism in the district.
State Minister for Civil Aviation, Ashoka Abeysinghe, quoted in local media reports said the upgraded runway at the Palaly Airport will be able to accommodate aircrafts carrying about 70 passengers and they hope to have the first flight in by September.
"There is also potential to start scheduled flights to destinations like Chennai, in south India. We are working on it," Abeysinghe said.
The government earlier this month launched a project to upgrade the Palaly airport at a cost of an estimated 110 million US dollars to operate regional commercial flights.
Once completed, the strategically located Palaly airport will have the capacity to handle direct commercial flights to countries like India, Australia, China, Japan, Middle East nations, and several European countries.