Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport awarded International
President Mahinda Rajapaksa will commission
Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport on March 18. This is the
second International Airport in Sri Lanka and the first ever Sri
Lankan International Airport to be operated as an International
Airport 'from the day of commencing operations', Civil Aviation
Minister Priyankara Jayaratne said.
He was addressing a special press briefing at the
Civil Aviation Ministry yesterday in connection with awarding
International Airport Certification (certifications of compliance
and certification of aerodrome) to the Mattala Rajapaksa
International Airport. Minister Jayaratne said the BIA commenced
operations in 1963, but received international status in 1968.
The Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport will
be an International Airport from the first day of commencing
This airport is not an experiment. It is a
significant landmark in the journey of Sri Lanka towards becoming
the aviation hub in Asia under Mahinda Chinthanaya - Vision for the
The airport has a one million passenger handling
Minister Jayaratne pointed out that the second
phase of the development project will commence after March 18 which
will give a handling of nine million passenger capacity by June
2015. After completion of its second phase, the Mattala
international airport will handle five million passengers.
Once all development projects are completed, Sri
Lanka's International Airports will have the capacity of handling 21
million passengers annually.
Minister Jayaratne stressed that when the LTTE
attacked the BIA, Sri Lanka lost billions of rupees due to flights
being rerouted to India because Sri Lanka did not have another
A similar situation will not arise hereafter.
Sri Lanka signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
with Lufthansa to set up a aircraft maintenance centre. This would
bring a significant amount of income to Sri Lanka.
"The Opposition always saw the entire project from
a negative point of view and made fun out of it. It did not stop
there. They even tried to create religious conflicts in connection
with expanding project.
The opposition spread fabricated stories stating
that the Government will close down the BIA," the Minister added.
"The Sri Lanka Civil Aviation Authority is in 19
place among 181 countries in the world, fourth place among 34
countries in the Pacific region and first place in South Asia, in it
capability and carrying out its services/duties.
The certificates had been awarded to Mattala
Rajapaksa International Airport after conducting careful study for
over two years on all functions, operations and human resources of
the airport, connected institutions and services.
The Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport is
capable of handling any emergency situation.
Civil Aviation Deputy Minister Geethanjana
Gunawardena, Civil Aviation Ministry Secretary Dr. Ravindra Ruberu,
Sri Lankan Airlines Chairman Nishantha Wickremesinghe, Civil
Aviation Authority Chairman Gen. Rohan Daluwatte, Civil Aviation
Director General H.M.C.Nimalsiri, Airport and Aviation Services
Chairman Prasanna Wickramasuriya also spoke.
Courtesy : Daily News