This is the second airport in Sri Lanka following Bandaranaike International airport. It is however still under construction and is located in Mattala in Hambantota district south of Sri Lanka. This project will promote development in the country and ensure efficient transportation system to and from Sri Lanka and within the state. The vision of establishing this second airport is to make Sri Lanka the aviation centre in the Asian continent. It is purposed to serve the Hambantota residents and the east and southern parts of Sri Lanka. Its location is proximate to the fast developing coastal town of Hambantota. On top of that, the project is being established as an eco friendly project.
This project is a need for the growth of Sri Lanka. And also its important because, when there was just a single airport, planes had to fly with a lot of fuel since when experiencing emergency , for instance bad weather or even technical issues, the planes were directed to India. That was the nearest airport. This presented a great inconvenience even for planes that fly all the way only to find that the only one airport is not in operation and hence have to fly back to the nearest airport and not in sri lanka but in another country.
This is huge barrier for those airlines that are trying to establish presence and operations in Sri Lanka due to lack of that second airport. Not having another airport in the country presents another challenge in that it has become costly in terms of insurance premium for aircraft.
This and many more factors led to the government of Sri Lanka to take initiatives to constructing another airport with the aim of developing the country. This is the second airport underway yet to be opened this year, the Maththala International Airport. It is found on a land site of 2000 hectares.
This project was started by president Mahinda in November 27 the year 2009 with an investment put in of 209 million dollars. The airport is aimed to assist development in the country, through increasing both international and domestic travel capacity and transport efficiency, and also to offer support to the other transport industries like the Magampura Mahinda Rjapaksa Port and the Bandaranaike International Airport.
Construction is planned to be finished in March this year. Everything is in plan and the project could be finished in December this year.
The runway is finished, 98% of the apron is complete, 95% of the fire fighting unit is also complete and 90% of the cargos handling units are complete. The Terminal building is 85% underway and is in its last phases of construction. The water, power, air navigation and communication systems have all been finished. 70% of the road network around the airport and leading to the airport has been finished. It is clear that also the control tower towering, 45 meters above is in its final stages.
The construction is being carried out in two phases. Phase one involves the basic airport facilities, the apron, runway, terminals for both cargo and passengers, a road network, official accommodation, a sewerage treatment plant, a fuel farm, water facilities, meteorological, fire and catering facilities and the car park are to be constructed. That will cover 800 hectares.
The rest 1200 hectares will facilitate airport and aviation facilities. This is the second stage and will include technical training facilities, private jet parking, pilot training centers, maintenance and repairing centers, hotels and other recreational facilities and taxiways among other facilities. This construction is to meet the International Airport standards of the Aviation industry.
The airport will be easily accessible since it can be accessed by three main routes and is built on an eco friendly basis thus reducing any environmental degradation. The airport has already been approved as an international airport and recently successful test flights were carried out. This has brought the attention of other airlines to begin operations in Sri Lanka.