China Bay Airport

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China Bay Airport
சீனக்குடா விமான நிலையம்
චීන වරාය ගුවන්තොටුපළ
SLAF China Bay Crest.jpg
SLAF China Bay crest
IATA: TRRICAO: VCCT
Summary
Airport type Military/Public
Owner Government of Sri Lanka
Operator Sri Lanka Air Force
Serves Trincomalee
Location China Bay, Sri Lanka
Commander H. M. S. K. Kotakadeniya
Elevation AMSL 2 m / 7 ft
Coordinates 08°32′22.40″N 81°10′54.70″E / 8.5395556°N 81.1818611°E / 8.5395556; 81.1818611Coordinates: 08°32′22.40″N 81°10′54.70″E / 8.5395556°N 81.1818611°E / 8.5395556; 81.1818611
Map
TRR is located in Sri Lanka
TRR
TRR
Runways
Direction Length Surface
m ft
06/24 2,397 7,864 Asphalt

China Bay Airport (Tamil: சீனக்குடா விமான நிலையம், Sinhala: චීන වරාය ගුවන්තොටුපළ) (IATA: TRRICAO: VCCT) is an air force base and domestic airport in China Bay in eastern Sri Lanka.[1][2] Located approximately 7 km (4.3 mi) south west of the city of Trincomalee, the airport is also known as Trincomalee Airport and SLAF China Bay.

Originally built by the British during the Empire's colonial days, it was transferred to the Royal Ceylonese Air Force which later became the Sri Lanka Air Force.

History[edit]

During the 1920s the British built an airfield in China Bay in eastern Ceylon. The Royal Air Force established an airfield called RAF Station China Bay in March 1942 with Hurricane, Spitfire and Catalina aircraft.[3]

A number of RAF squadrons (17, 159, 205, 240, 258, 261, 273, 321, 357, 648) and other units were stationed at the airfield during and immediately after the war.[4] The airfield was bombed by the Japanese on 9 April 1942 during World War II.[5][6] The airfield played a role in the Allied attempt to retake Malaya with B29 bombers using the airfield.[3]

After independence, the British maintained two military airfields in Ceylon, the Royal Air Force station at RAF Katunayake and the naval base in Trincomalee, and camps at Diyatalawa. The naval base in Trincomalee included the airfield in China Bay. It was opened to civilian flights in 1952.[7] All British military airfields/barracks and sites in the country were transferred and taken over by the Ceylonese government in November 1957.[3][8] RAF China Bay became RCyAF China Bay.[3] It became SLAF Base China Bay in May 1972.[3] The base was turned into the Sri Lanka Air Force Academy in March 1976.[3] The academy was made an air force base in January 1987 due to the civil war.[3]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Passenger

Airlines Destinations
Cinnamon Air Colombo-Bandaranaike, Sigiriya
FitsAir Colombo-Ratmalana, Jaffna
Helitours Colombo-Ratmalana
Millennium Airlines Colombo-Bandaranaike, Colombo-Ratmalana

Cargo

Airlines Destinations
Lankan Cargo Colombo-Ratmalana

Lodger squadrons[edit]

Air Force Academy[edit]

The base houses the Sri Lanka Air Force Academy.[9] Established in 1976, the academy is where the Sri Lanka Air Force conducts its initial officer training. Currently there are three lodger formations carrying out training:

  • Combat Training School
  • Junior Command & Staff College
  • Non-Commissioned Officers Management School

References[edit]

  1. ^ "VCCT TRINCOMALEE / China-bay". Aeronautical Information Services of Sri Lanka, Airport & Aviation Services. 
  2. ^ "TRR - Airport". Great Circle Mapper. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "History of Air Force Base China Bay". Sri Lanka Air Force. Archived from the original on 7 June 2008. 
  4. ^ "RAF Stations - C". Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation. 
  5. ^ Devarajah, Lloyd Rajaratnam (11 April 2010). "Ceylon’s Pearl Harbour attack". The Sunday Times (Sri Lanka). 
  6. ^ Wijenayaka, Walter (5 April 2011). "Bombing of Colombo during world war II". The Island (Sri Lanka). 
  7. ^ "Sri Lankan Aviation History". Ministry of Civil Aviation, Sri Lanka. 
  8. ^ "Take over of Trincomalee a landmark event". The Sunday Times (Sri Lanka). 12 October 2008. 
  9. ^ "Air Force takes wing". The Sunday Times (Sri Lanka). 9 March 2008. 

External links[edit]