July 26, Colombo: Sri Lanka's main international airport in Katunayake will undergo repair work to its runway beginning next year while the government is seeking a suitable investor to utilize the idling Mattala Airport in Hambantota, the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation Nimal Siripala De Silva said.
Addressing a media conference held in Colombo today to announce the 53rd Asia Pacific Civil Aviation Services Directors General Conference planned to be held in Sri Lanka, the Minister stressed that the government is not prepared to sell the Mattala Airport.
The Minister revealed that there are some investors who are interested in it and as soon as they found a good investor they would hand it over to them to utilize the airport.
Speaking further, Minister de Silva said that a decision has been taken to shut down the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) in Katunayake for eight hours a day for three months from the 5th January next year for the expansion of the runway.
He said it would be closed from 8.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. for the three months daily during which a selected area of the runway would be renovated for four hours and allowed to cool down for another four hours. A Netherland advisory team has been selected for the renovation project through a tender procedure.
The Minister announced that the 53rd Asia Pacific Regional Civil Aviation Directors General Conference that will begin in Colombo on the 1st August.
President of the International Civil Aviation Services Organization and the Secretary General as well as the Regional Director are scheduled to attend the conference. They will be arriving in Sri Lanka for the first time in the 71-year history of the Organization.
Representatives of 38 countries are due to attend the conference. The meeting is scheduled to discuss many matters concerning the growth of Aviation Services in the region.