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China Bay Airport (Tamil: சீனக்குடா விமான நிலையம், romanized: Cīṉakkuṭā Vimāṉa Nilaiyam; Sinhala: චීන වරාය ගුවන්තොටුපළ, romanized: Cīna Varāya Guvantoṭupaḷa; (IATA: TRR, ICAO: 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.

China Bay Airport

சீனக்குடா விமான நிலையம்
චීන වරාය ගුවන්තොටුපළ
SLAF China Bay Crest.jpg
SLAF China Bay crest
Airport typeMilitary/Public
OwnerGovernment of Sri Lanka
OperatorSri Lanka Air Force
LocationChina Bay, Sri Lanka
CommanderH. M. S. K. Kotakadeniya
Elevation AMSL2 m / 7 ft
Coordinates08°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
TRR is located in Sri Lanka
Direction Length Surface
m ft
06/24 2,397 7,864 Asphalt

Originally built by the British, it was transferred to the Royal Ceylonese Air Force which later became the Sri Lanka Air Force.



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 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.[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 destinationsEdit

Lodger squadronsEdit

Air Force AcademyEdit

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


  1. ^ "VCCT TRINCOMALEE / China-bay". Aeronautical Information Services of Sri Lanka, Airport & Aviation Services. Archived from the original on 2013-12-14. Retrieved 2013-09-08.
  2. ^ "TRR - Airport". Great Circle Mapper.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "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. Archived from the original on 2013-12-12.
  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 linksEdit