State Minister of Aviation and Export Zones Development -Sri Lanka

Making Maattala Rajapaksa International Airport 'the most active airport in South Asia'

The new government of Sri Lanka intends to convert Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA) from one of the world’s emptiest international airports to an most active airport in South Asia. This was said in a statement from State Minister of Aviation and Export Zones Development, D.V. Chanaka, after concluding an inspection tour of the airport.

Chanaka added that the MRIA was cold-shouldered by the previous government and at one stage was used to store paddy, which resulted in airport authorities to spend millions to clean the paddy husk. He said that the airport is now playing a key role in ship and airline crew changes. MRIA can play even a bigger role in export of fish and fruit and vegetables mainly grown in the area.

“With airlines like Emirates touching MRIA the interest for the airport has increased.” The government will re-invest towards MRIA by installing PCR testing machines and would also set up a Covid testing laboratory in the airport, the Minister told dailynews.lk.


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