Airports Authority of India (AAI) will develop Palaly Airport in Sri Lanka. “Palaly is in Jaffna in the north — once a hotbed of LTTE. India had earlier promised to develop the Palaly Airport and enhance the connectivity of North Sri Lanka with South India, Malaysia and Thailand.
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“AAI signed an agreement with the ministry of external affairs for preparation of comprehensive project report for development of Palaly Airport in Sri Lanka. Considering AAI’s expertise in airport development, the authority wants to go global. Airports Authority of India has developed over 60 airports in various Indian cities and now wants to use its expertise develop airports in other nations” an AAI official said.
India had earlier promised to develop Palaly airport which has been a demand by the northern province for some time. The airport will be Sri Lanka’s first in the north, give the northern people of Island nations a direct connectivity with places like South India, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand.
India has also offered to develop the Kankesanthurai airport also in the north of Sri Lanka, as well as the Mattala international airport in south Sri Lanka, to keep a hawk eye on nearby Chinese Hambantota port.
“After the civil war with LTTE war was over in 2009, India has been involved in the reconstruction of the northern province. However, as China became one of the largest investors and developer in Sri Lanka, India was compelled to speed its developmental work.
Palaly is vital for due to the fact that it is in the Tamil-dominated area of Sri Lanka which has been traditionally closer to India. By developing vital infrastructure here, India is also keeping a foothold in this part of Sri Lanka.