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* Sri Lanka to open second international airport on March 18
Thu, Jan 24, 2013, 10:32 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Jan 24, Colombo: Sri Lanka Minister of Civil Aviation Priyankara Jayaratne said in parliament today that the second international airport of the island would be declared open on March 18.

The Minister said that four airlines have agreed to fly to the airport situated in Mattala in the Hambantota district of Southern Province.

The Minister expressed these views answering a question raised by the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) MP Anura Kumara Dissanayaka.

The first test flight, a twin-engine Beechcraft Super king test aircraft belongs to Pakistan Civil Aviation Department, landed at the Hambantota International Airport in October 2012.

The airport in the first stage costs US$ 209 million with funding from Exim Bank of China.

The airport, built on a 2,000 hectare land according to recommendations of the International Civil Aviation Organization, has a 1,000-square meter cargo facility with the capacity of handling 45,000 metric tons of cargo per year.

Under the second stage, it will cater to six million passengers and metric tons metric tons of cargo.

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