The construction of Sri Lanka’s second International Airport in Mattala, Hambantota is nearing completion. It will be commissioned in the first quarter of next year, Civil Aviation Minister Priyankara Jayaratne said. The project was launched by President Mahinda Rajapaksa on November 27, 2009 with a mega scale investment of Rs 27 billion (US $ 209 million).
When the project was launched, it had been scheduled to be completed by March 2013. Work is going on ahead of schedule and could be completed by December this year, Mattala Airport Construction Project Chief Engineer Gnanasiri Withanage said. According to Withanage, the construction of the runway has been completed, while 98 percent of the apron is complete. Construction of over 95 percent of the fire fighting unit and 90 percent of the cargo handling section are complete. Construction of the terminal building is also in the final stage with over 85 percent of the work over.
Construction of water and power systems, air navigation and communication system have already been complete.
The construction of the control tower which is 45 meters in height is also in its final stage.
Besides, over 70 percent of the road network has been completed by now.
The area allocated for the airport is two thousand hectares. Construction is taking place in two stages.
Under the first stage, basic aerodrome facilities, runway, apron, taxi way, passenger and Cargo terminals, access roads, accommodation for officials, fuel farm, sewerage treatment plant, water supply facilities, meteorological building, fire building, catering facility and car park are constructed.
Under the second stage, a full length parallel taxi way, flying school, airport hotel and recreational facilities are to be developed.
“The new airport will be a boon to the local the aviation industry, while being a catalyst for economic development of the Southern Province, through the enabling of international trade, tourism, vocational training and employment.
Moreover, the new airport will be geared to support both international and domestic travel, air-sea cargo transshipment in conjunction with the Hambanthota sea port and will be the alternative to the BIA, “the minister said.