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New airport catalyst for development

President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday inaugurated the project to construct Sri Lanka’s second International Airport at Mattala, Hambantota turning another promise in his election manifesto Mahinda Chinthana into reality.


Proposed site. Picture by Nalin Hewapathirana

The new airport is expected to be a boon to the local aviation industry while being a catalyst for the country’s economic development enabling international trade, tourism, vocational training and employment.

The new airport will be geared to support both international and domestic travel, air-sea cargo transshipment in conjunction with the Hambantota sea port and would act as an alternative to the Bandaranaike International Airport from 2011 end.

The commencement of the construction of Sri Lanka’s second fully fledged international airport is another promise in the Mahinda Chinthana becoming a reality.

The President’s manifesto Mahinda Chinthana in its envisaged development plan Randora emphasizes the establishment of a second international airport in Sri Lanka while pursuing action to develop 13 existing domestic air strips, thereby providing the nation with a modern air transport network that will support the development envisaged.

The new airport basically supports the concept of an air-sea transshipment hub in conjunction with the Hambantota Port.

Project at a glance

Estimated Cost: US $ 210 million

Extent of land: 2,000 hectares in total. Initial construction covers an extent of 800 hectares.

Aerodrome design: Designed to meet the ICAO specification for code 4F.

Runway Length: 3,500 metres in length with a width of 75 metres.

Taxiways: 60 metre long taxiway from the runway centre line to the edge of the apron. Apron: 10 parking positions initially with the total being 80.

Air Field Capacity: Annual Service Volume of the aerodrome at short and medium/long term planning horizons will be 30,000 and 60,000 movements respectively.

Terminal and related buildings: Proposed 10,000 square metres to accommodate 800 peak hours and 100 domestic passengers both ways.

Benefits

Aeronautical Direct: Domestic/Regional and international passenger traffic & Cargo movement, domestic/regional passenger hub, budget airline attractant, seaplane/amphibious operations, ware housing etc.

Aeronautical Indirect: Pilot training, technician training, maintenance hub, charter/private jet parking, and moth balled aircraft/junkyard.

Non Aeronautical International financial centre, aerotropolis concept, duty free shopping centre, investments incentives, industrial parks, IT parks, hotels, restaurants, car rentals, resort activities, recreational activities etc. related to tourism.

Objectives

To play a vital and supportive role in the development activity in the Hambantota region and capture market share of the regional traffic growth.

To promote air-sea transshipment hub operation in conjunction with the Hambantota Harbour .

To play a key component in the development efforts of the Eastern and Southern coasts.

To be an alternate airport to BIA.

To facilitate the establishment of a gateway for economic and investment infusion in Sri Lanka.

Construction

China Harbour Engineering Company with the support of local expertise in the form of Airport and Aviation Services Sri Lanka Ltd and other relevant local players.

 

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