August 22, 2019
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    Temporary terminal for BIA to ease congestion

    May 13, 2018

    Transport and Civil Aviation Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said a temporary terminal would be constructed within six months at the Bandaranaike International Airport to ease congestion. He said tenders for this purpose would be closed in June and the work would be completed by the end of this year.

    He said the ministry also plans to construct a permanent second terminal, adding that fresh tenders would be called for it as the previous contract with JAICA had to be cancelled as its cost was 45 percent more than the engineers’ estimates.

    The minister pointed out that the Bandaranaike International Airport has become congested with a significant increase in the number of passengers and cargo. He also said that plans are afoot to construct a second runway at the BIA.

    The minister further said that Immigration and Emigration Officers must be trained to provide a friendly service to the people at the airport, as there have been reports of a number of lapses on their part. In reply to a complaint by JVP MP Bimal Rathnayake on Wi-Fi access at the airport, the minister said steps would be taken to provide a Login password and allow passengers free Wi-Fi use.

    He made these observations moving the Civil Aviation (Amendment) Bill for debate in Parliament last Friday.The Bill makes touting of passengers within the premises of the aerodrome an offence. A person guilty of the offence is liable to a fine not exceeding Rs.25,000 or imprisonment not exceeding six months or both. Touting means canvassing with a view to arranging transport or accommodation for an incoming or outgoing passenger or loading or unloading his baggage or other articles into or from vehicles or offering any similar service for money without being duly authorized to do so.

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