Jaffna Airport is located at the northern tip of Sri Lanka (known as Ceylon in Biggles' time) about 9-10 miles north of the city of Jaffna. The airport began as a military airfield built by the R.A.F. during World War 2 for fighter and coastal command squadrons. After the war, the airfield was taken over and converted to a civilian airport, handling domestic traffic from the capital Colombo as well as international flights to South India.

Civil operations at the airport were interrupted by the Sri Lankan civil war when the Sri Lankan Air Force took over the facility and used it as a military airbase with the designation SLAF Palaly, The base played a vital role during the civil war, at one time serving as the main link between government forces in the north and the rest of the country as the land access had been cut off by anti-government rebel activities. During the period of the civil war, civil air traffic was intermittent but picked up again with the end of the war in 2009. Today the airport still hosts a military airbase but also serves mainly domestic flights to and from Colombo and other parts of Sri Lanka. The civil airport is also known as Palali or Palaly Airport.

Jaffna Airport and BigglesEdit

In Biggles Makes Ends Meet, Biggles lands at Jaffna in his Halifax in order to interview Mr Tidore who had made a report of piracy in the Nicobar Islands. After checking in with the airport control officer, Carwell, Biggles and Ginger then took a car to Mr Tidore's residence somewhere in Jaffna city. After various adventures and misadventures, including Tidore being murdered, Biggles and Ginger managed to escape in a "borrowed" car back to the airport where they took their Halifax to Kutaradja. They moved several times between the airport and the city but this is plausible because they had a car at all times.

The distance from Jaffna to Kutaradja is just over 1000 miles, well within the range of the Halifax and also the Dakota belonging to Colonel Black's smuggling gang which followed the Halifax out.

Jaffna environs

Map showing the location of Jaffna airport (top of map) approximately 9-10 miles north of Jaffna city (bottom of map). (Base map is © OpenStreetMap contributors, under CC-BY-SA and ODBl (see licence terms)

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