The Maththala Mahinda Rajapaksa International Air Port the islands second international airport which marks a pivotal point in the history of the country was inaugurated by President Mahinda Rajapaksha a short while ago.
An A-340 aircraft carrying a convoy of VIP’s including President Mahinda Rajapaksa landed on the tarmac of the Maththala Mahinda Rajapaksa International Airport at the auspicious time of 10.54 am, amidst the chanting of Seth Pirith.
Subsequently official activities at the Maththala International Air Port commenced officially.
Already 23 international airlines have voiced interest in initiating flights to MRIA.
The airport has a one million passenger handling capacity.
Sri Lankan Airlines during the first phase will operate two flights to Riyadh, four to Male, two to Beijing and one to Shanghai via Bangkok.
Another impressive factor at MRIA is that its modern airstrip could facilitate landing of the latest Airbus 380.
Sri Lankan Cargo will manage MRIA’s 5,000-square metre cargo facility with the capacity of handling 60,000 metric tons.
The airport is geared to support domestic flights as well and will handle air-sea cargo transshipment in conjunction with the Hambantota sea port and will be an alternative to BIA.
The entire project is to cost 200 million dollars.
Under the first phase, basic aerodrome facilities, runway apron, taxi way, passenger and cargo terminals are constructed.