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Dec 23, 2016

BIA weeks away from partial closure Featured

The Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) is to be partially closed for three months from January 06 onwards for runway maintenance.

The Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation Nimal Siripala de Silva had said that the maintenance will cost around US$ 41 million and that the airport will be closed for 08 hours each day.

Accordingly the airport will be closed from 8.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m during that period.

However, these repairs will allow A-380 airbus to land and the runway would be in operation for 30 years, the minister further said.

Mattala

Meanwhile, the minister has yesterday (22) told media that the government is currently working on the idea of leasing out the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport to a foreign company.

He has added that the matter is still at preliminary discussion level and the government has no other option but to consider this as a solution.

"Airline companies refuse to use Mattala Airport due to the lack of infrastructure facilities. If we want to attract them at least there should be a highway which connects Mattala and Colombo. But constructing a highway will take several years," de Silva stated.

He also said that a Rs 3.6 billion has to be paid per annum as debt interest for the Mattala Airport. However, the airport has failed to gain at least a profit of Rs. 10 million from its operations, he further said.

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