Mar 04, Colombo: Sri Lanka's new international airport, Hambantota International Airport is preparing for its opening on March 18 for commercial operations.
The new airport equipped with ultra-modern facilities can handle one million passengers in the initial stage. The 10,000 square meter international passenger terminal building will have a handling capacity target of 400 peak hour passengers.
According to the Civil Aviation Ministry, the passenger capacity at the Bandaranaike International Airport in Katunayake is 7.5 million. By the year 2020, both airports are expected to handle a passenger capacity of 21 million.
Minister of Civil Aviation Priyankara Jayaratne rejected the speculations that the Bandaranaike International Airport would be closed following the opening of the new airport at Mattala.
Chairman of the Airport and Aviation services company Prasanna Wickramasuriya has said that a jumbo aircraft of Airbus 330 type could be landed at the Mattala Airport.
An A330 aircraft from the national carrier, SriLankan conducted a test landing at Mattala International Airport on Jan 29th to test the readiness of the airport for commercial operations.
The SriLankan Airlines has already outlined planned operations from Colombo via Hambantota to Male, Riyadh, Beijing and Shanghai via Bangkok.