Sri Lanka keen on cooperation with CIAL to develop new airport

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Kochi, Jan 31 (UNI) The Sri Lankan Government has sought the cooperation of Cochin International Airport Ltd. to develop a greenfield airport near the upcoming city of Hambanota in the southern part of the country.

According to a release here today by CIAL Managing Director Sreeram Bharath, who is in Sri Lanka, a delegation from the country would visit CIAL within the next few months to take the discussions forward.

Cochin International Airport Ltd., a joint venture company between the Kerala Government and a group of private entrepreneurs, is successfully operating the country's first joint sector airport, the Nedumabaserry International Airport, near here.

According to Mr Bharath, The CIAL delegation made a detailed presentation on its economic model to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa on January 28.

This was followed by detailed discussions with a Sri Lankan government delegation, which included Ports and Aviation Minister Chamal Rajapaksa, Secretary of the President Lalith Weeratunga, Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka Ajith Cabraal and Secretary, Ports and Aviation, Tilak Collure.

The CIAL delegation also visited the proposed airport site at Weerawila, about 300 km from capital Colombo.

The Sri Lankan Government is developing a big port city and a huge container terminal station at Hambanota in collaboration with the Chinese Government and the airport at Weerwila is closely connected to the new city's development, he said.

According to Mr Bharath, the Sri Lankan side expressed deep appreciation of CIAL's achievements as an airport developer and consultant and suggested that a high-level delegation visit Kochi in the next few months to take the project forward.

The seven-member CIAL delegation, which also included Nedumbaserry Airport Director A C K Nair, General Managers A M Shabeer and Suresh Babu and Senior Manager K P Thankachan, will return here on February two.

UNI ARC DK1635

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