China Bay Airport

China Bay Airport China Bay Airport China Bay Airport

China Bay Airport is an air force base and domestic airport in China Bay in eastern Sri Lanka. 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.


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

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. The airfield was bombed by the Japanese on 9 April 1942 during World War II. The airfield was upgraded to accommodate Boeing B-29 Superfortress over the first half of 1944. After these upgrades were complete it was used to stage the B-29 attack force for the unsuccessful Operation Boomerang raid on oil refineries at Palembang in August 1944.

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

Airlines and destinations


Airlines Destinations
Air Senok Charter: ColomboRatmalana
Cinnamon Air Colombo–Bandaranaike, Sigiriya
FitsAir Charter:Colombo–Ratmalana, Jaffna
Helitours Colombo–Ratmalana, Jaffna
Charter: Hambantota-Mattala


Airlines Destinations
FitsAir Colombo–Ratmalana

Lodger squadrons
  • No. 01 Flying Training Wing
  • No. 06 Air Defence Radar Squadron
  • No. 112 Surveillance Squadron
Air Force Academy

The base houses the Sri Lanka Air Force Academy.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
China Bay Airport China Bay Airport China Bay Airport