Lonely Planet Writer

China to gain airspace with Colombo port development

The city of Colombo Sri Lanka.
The city of Colombo, Sri Lanka. Image by Sammu / CC BY 2.0

Sri Lanka’s plan to grant China sovereign rights to land in the new Port City Project in Colombo has hit an unexpected snag, as China would also gain rights to the airspace over the 108-hectare site. This could potentially prevent airlines from flying over Colombo without Chinese approval, which has sent alarm bells ringing in India, Sri Lanka’s largest trading partner. Sri Lanka is bound by the terms of the Chicago Convention of Civil Aviation, which guarantees that a nation has automatic rights to the airspace over its territory, and this latest development will add fuel to the recent political debates inside Sri Lanka which have seen the project suspended until agreement can be reached. Read more: dailynews.lk