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Colombo airport to close at night for 3 months

The Colombo international airport will be closed at night from May 10 in view of threat from LTTE air force, reports PK Balachandran.

world Updated: May 14, 2007 04:41 IST

The Colombo international airport will be closed at night from May 10 onwards for a period of three months, in view of the threat from the LTTE air force in the nights.

The Sri Lankan Defence Spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella told

Hindustan Times

on Thursday, that the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA), which is adjacent to the Katunayake Air Force base, would be closed from 10.30 pm to 4.30 am.

The Katunayake Air Force Base and the civil international airport share the same runway. The security for the civil airport is provided by the Air Force.

The air base was bombed by two Tamil Tiger aircraft in the early hours of March 26. There was an abortive bid to bomb the Kfir and MIG-27 hangars in April, again at night.

The LTTE's Tamileelam Air Force (TUF), comprising Zlin Z 142 single engine propeller aircraft, successfully attacked oil storage tanks in Colombo on the night of April 29.

Efforts to intercept or shoot down the intruders had proved to be futile.

Earlier on July 24, 2001, LTTE cadres attacked both the airbase and the civil airport and destroyed many civil aircraft early in the morning.

May 10 was chosen to give the airlines time to reschedule their night flights, Rambukwella said.

"This policy might be reviewed depending on the security situation," the spokesman added.

First Published: May 03, 2007 22:43 IST