impression of the airport
Hambantota Port opens today:
Airport ready by 2012:
Mattala Airport project takes off
The Hambantota Harbour has made history with the sea water filling
ceremony today known as Karadiyawara Mangalyaya, another global landmark
is taking shape a few kilometres away.
project at a glance
* Estimated project cost -
US$ 210,000,000 (US Dollars two hundred and ten million)
* Extent of land - 2000
hectares. Initial construction would cover an extent of 800
*Aerodrome design - The
aerodrome will be designed to meet the international
*Runway length - Is proposed
as 3500 metres and the width is proposed as 75 metres where
new A380 could land.
* Taxiways - Recommended to
have a 60 metres long taxiway from the runway centre line to
the edge of the apron.
* Apron - 10 parking
positions will be provided initially, the pavement of the
parking apron - 80
* Airfield capacity - Annual
service volume of this aerodrome at short and
medium/long-term planning horizons will be 30,000 and
600,000 movements respectively
Terminal and related
buildings - Size of which is proposed to be 10,000 square
metres to accommodate 800 peak hours and 100 domestic
Hectic work is going on at Mattala where Sri Lanka’s second
international airport is being built. It will be one of the biggest
airports in south Asia. One may argue that a small country such as Sri
Lanka need not have a second airport as Colombo airport could handle the
present volume of air traffic.
However, with permanent peace, rich bio diversity and improved
tourism infrastructure, Sri Lanka is transforming into one of the best
tourist destinations in Asia, anticipating over 2.5 million visitors by
“Colombo international airport is not in a position to efficiently
handle the current volume of air traffic and a second international
airport is a must for the country”, said Deputy Minister of Ports and
Aviation Dayashritha Tissera.
Rajapaksa unveils the plaque
With the anticipated tourism boom, large double-decked aircraft such
as A380 too will land in Sri Lanka. The country cannot meet the present
Since Sri Lanka does not have a second international airport,
aircraft flying to Sri Lanka have to carry additional fuel as they have
to re route to another country in case of an emergency. Carrying excess
aviation fuel is an additional cost for the airline, which will
eventually be a burden for the passengers.
We are not building Mattala Airport simply to accommodate emergency
flights. There are plans to make it a viable venture,” the Minister
In addition to large aircraft the new airport could cater to charter
flights as well.
One of Singapore’s success stories is the duty free concession
offered to tourists which many Indians exploit for shopping and to take
a holiday. There are also tourists who visit Singapore for one night
Deputy Minister of Ports and Aviation
Mattala too is expected to offer a duty free shopping complex similar
to Mustapha concept in Singapore with VAT refunds being offered to
attract the Indian travellers and tourists from other neighbouring
countries. One of the biggest advantages, the Indians would have is that
they would be able to save over US$ 200 from airfare as it takes less
than one hour to fly to Sri Lanka.
Mattala will also be one of the main routes in the proposed domestic
air service, Sri Lanka plans to launch as it can be the domestic
regional passenger hub.
Malaysia’s Air Asia which was voted the top low-cost carrier in the
world, also uses a separate airport for its operations and Sri Lanka too
can use Mattala as a venue for low cost carriers including Mihin Lanka.
The airport would be a boon to exporters in the South as they do not
have to send their produce to Colombo incurring transport cost and time.
* To play a vital and
supportive role in the development activity in the
Hambantota region and capture market share of the regional
* To promote the
Air-Sea-Transshipment Hub operation in conjunction with the
* To be a key component in
the development efforts of the Eastern and Southern coasts
* To be an alternate airport
to BIA, offering tremendous fuel and weight savings to
airlines, resulting an increased passenger and cargo volume
throughout the country
* To facilitate the
establishment of a gateway for economic and investment
infusion into Sri Lanka.
Real estate sector will be one of the first beneficiaries with the
rise in demand for airport support services. New hotels and apartments
would be in demand. Tourism entrepreneurs could grab new opportunities
in such areas as car-rental, restaurants and catering and many other
openings never dreamt of before.”
The opening of Mattala International Airport would create over 15,000
employment opportunities and help eliminate poverty progressively in an
under privileged area such as Hambantota. The infrastructure facility
that would be created would be an asset not only to Hambantota but also
to other neighbouring districts.
Construction work in
Plans are also under way to have pilot training facilities which
brings in additional revenue to the country. “Each commercial aircraft
has to take regular technical ‘checks’ and Mattala can be offered as a
centre for this and also as maintenance hub,” he said.
Mahinda Chinthana - Randora, underscored the need for a second
international airport in Sri Lanka while developing the 13 existing
domestic airstrips, thereby providing the nation with a modern air
transport network that will support the enormous development activity
envisaged within the next five years.
The primary function of the second international airport is to
support the mega development activities taking place in the southern
region specifically the Hambantota District Development Initiative. It
includes setting up an International convention centre, the Hambantota
Harbour, an Administrative Complex, Star Hotels, International Stadium,
oil refinery and other similar commercial initiatives. Basically it
supports the concept of an air-sea transshipment hub, in conjunction
with the Hambantota harbour.
Deputy Ministers of Ports and
Aviation, Dayashritha Tissera, Rohitha Abeygunawardane,
Chairman, Airprot Aviation, Prasanna Wickramasuriya at the
Sustainable development is the most crucial element in the creation
of this airport which is designed to be eco-friendly.
The successful conclusion of the project will highlight the
Government’s efforts and commitment to economic development and in
particular the investment strategy of the Greater Hambantota Development
“We strongly believe that this project will achieve sustainability
through sound financial and operational performances while guaranteeing
returns on investment,” the Minister said.