US$ 50 m upgrade of BIA runway | Sunday Observer

US$ 50 m upgrade of BIA runway

The overflying revenue during the past three years has grown considerably due to the renovation of the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) runway enabling A380 aircraft to land, a top official of the Airport and Aviation Services Limited (AA) said.

The runway of the BIA was upgraded to CAT ll in line with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standards early this year at a cost of US$ 50 million. The project was designed and supervised by the Netherlands Airport Consultants (NACO).

Tourist arrivals to the country in the first four months slowed down due to the runway development project.

However, according to airport management authorities there has been a positive response from airline operators on the extension of the runway.

“We have received a very good response from aircraft operators and pilots on the runway. It would have been a catastrophe to the airline and tourism industry if not for the renovation of the runway. Airlines would have considered other options. Therefore, it was definitely a need ,” AA Executive Director Johanne Jayaratne said.

Making room for 40-degree Rapid Exits in the runway have increased landing efficiency.

‘It had been a 90 degree angle for turning aircraft. By creating 40 degree angle aircraft could exit the runway much faster paving the way for other planes to land,” Jayaratne said.

The authorities also said that while having a 40 degree angle 7.5 meter shoulders were added for A380 aircraft to land. The former runway accumulated gravel as the engines were away from the runway.

“A389 airbuses needed widened shoulders to avoid engines accumulating gravel,” Jayaratne said.

Only one commercial A380 aircraft landed in August following the completion of renovation of the runway in April. Over-flight refers to transiting of civilian aircraft over the territory of a foreign territory . Airlines pay hefty over-flight tolls for using foreign airspace.

Airports earn revenue through various forms of charges such as landing, parking, aerobridges, rentals and embarkation taxes.

According to airport authorities around 200 flight movements take place a day through both arrival and departure terminals.