The Airport and Aviation sector is subjected to radical changes to cater to 21 million passengers per annum by 2020, Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) Limited Chairman Prasanna J. Wickramasuriya said.
He was addressing the media at Cinnamon Grand Hotel, Colombo yesterday (July 31). He said more facilities and infrastructure development will be added to both the Bandaranaike International Airport and Mattala Mahinda Rajapaksa International Airport to reach the target of 21 million passenger volume per annum.
Accordingly, phase two of both international airports will be implemented in the near future.
The BIA can cater to six million passengers while the MMRIA can cater to one million passengers per annum by now.
The volume of BIA will further be increased to 15 million while the volume of MMRIA will be increased to six million per annum. The two international airports will handle 21 million passenger volumes by 2020 at the completion of the project, Wickramasuriya said.
All these moves are to meet the ever increasing demand for the aviation sector of the country with the dawn of peace, he said.
The Chairman clarified the ratings of the Bandaranaike International Airport, in the wake of media reports claiming that Sri Lanka’s primary international airport performed poorly amidst other Asian airports according to an international survey.
The Airport Transport Research Society surveyed a total of 200 airports globally and rated the BIA 25th out of 37 surveyed airports in the Asian region, he said.
However, the BIA still ranked higher than airports in New Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai in India, Haneda, Manila, and Tai Pei. Sri Lanka has started direct flights with many countries during the past few years, the Chairman further said.
He added that the pledge made by the Mahinda Chintana manifesto to make Sri Lanka aviation hub in Asia is becoming a reality at present.