Lankapage Logo CP 19 YEARS
Go Home Home Serving the Sri Lankan community globally since 2000
go to LankaPage.com

Leading News from Sri Lanka::

* Mattala Airport will be developed with an India, Sri Lanka joint venture - Transport Minister
Fri, Jul 6, 2018, 11:44 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

July 06, Colombo: Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation Nimal Siripala de Silva says that the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA) in Hambantota currently running at a great loss will be developed with a joint venture with India as a commercial airport.

"We need to rebuild the airport as a commercial airport. We will not sell paddy at the airport. We will not sell it to anyone," the Civil Aviation Minister told parliament today speaking at the adjournment motion moved by the Opposition.

He said that the MRIA was running at a major loss of Rs. 20 billion and an international partner is needed to revive the airport which has earned the recognition as the "World's emptiest airport"

Fly Dubai, the only airline that was flying to the MRIA recently terminated its operations to the facility built at a cost of US$ 210 million by the previous regime.

The Minister said the Fly Dubai terminated operations not because of the government wants to sell the airport to India.

"Fly Dubai had a problem because of the birds in the area. We gave a temporary relief during the season when bird population is high. SriLankan also said it was not possible to fly to Mattala as not many people are coming," the Minister explained.

He said an international partner is required in order to revive the airport a profitable institution.

"We want to build the airport built at the wrong place at the wrong time and we are seeking investors. We advertised in foreign newspapers requesting proposals but none of the proposals we received were suitable," he continued.

Denying the charge that Sri Lanka is handing over the airport to balance if influence of China which was given the Hambantota Port to operate, the Minister said only India has agreed to form a joint venture with Sri Lanka to develop the former president's namesake airport.

The Minister said the joint venture would see India gain a major stake of the airport, adding that "we are in discussion with the Indians for the joint venture."

However, the Minister stressed that there will be conditions. "This is only the airport. No Indian personnel allowed in security affairs. If needed, the bill will be changed.

The Minister assured that the airport will not be sold. Already, a feasibility study has been started to extend the railway line from Matara to Beliatta to the airport.

 

ColomboPage - Recent 10 Stories ::
Schools in Sri Lanka's Northern Province closed due to cyclone Gaja
-- [4 hours ago]
President requests the Speaker to hold a new vote by name to show majority
-- [6 hours ago]
Sri Lanka government, LIOC reduce fuel prices
-- [7 hours ago]
Sri Lanka parliament to convene today
-- [7 hours ago]
Fitch Affirms Sri Lanka's Sunshine Holdings at 'A-(lka)'; Outlook Stable
-- [7 hours ago]
Sri Lanka Customs nabs three passengers smuggling gold biscuits worth over Rs. 14 million
-- [8 hours ago]
UNP leader says ready to show majority again
Sri Lanka President meets Speaker, party leaders
China hopes Sri Lanka can maintain stability
Sri Lanka Speaker appeals to the President to listen to the majority and halt the destruction of the country

Copyright © 2000, 2016 by LankaPage.com (LLC) :
The news and other contents on ColomboPage are copyrighted property of LankaPage.com, LLC. Any unauthorized use of any information on ColomboPage may constitute a violation of copyright laws. You need written permission to reproduce, republish, post, transmit, broadcast or distribute, material from this site from LankaPage.com, LLC. However, news organizations or broadcasters in Sri Lanka may republish the news items in ColomboPage with proper acknowledgment to ColomboPage.