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
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
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
Air Field Capacity: Annual Service Volume of the aerodrome at short
and medium/long term planning horizons will be 30,000 and 60,000
Terminal and related buildings: Proposed 10,000 square metres to
accommodate 800 peak hours and 100 domestic passengers both ways.
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
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.
To play a vital and supportive role in the development activity in
the Hambantota region and capture market share of the regional traffic
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
To be an alternate airport to BIA.
To facilitate the establishment of a gateway for economic and
investment infusion in Sri Lanka.
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.