Sri Lanka Mattala airport interests A380 operators: official

Mar 14, 2013 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s second international airport in Mattala is attracting interest from Airbus A380 operators, and the airport agency stands to earn more navigation fees from overflying aircraft, a top official said. Sri Lanka already earns navigation fees from aircraft overflying its flight information region, but industry analysts have said that the full potential of controlling air traffic in the Indian Ocean is yet to be exploited. “A lot of airlines are interested in this runway,” chairman of Airport and Aviation Services of Sri Lanka Ltd, Prasanna Wickramasuriya said.

“Airlines flying over from Dubai to Sydney, would prefer to have an air route over Sri Lanka since we have a runway like this.”

The Mahinda Rajapaksa International Airport in Mattala has a 3,500 metre runway, 60 metres wide 7.5 metre shoulders which has been designated ‘Code F’ by the International Civil Aviation Organization.

Mattala airport which is opening next week will commence with flights by Emirates-based Air Arabia and Fly Dubai and state-run SriLankan and Mihin Air.

“Airlines like Emirates, Qatar are also interested because we have A380 capable runway,” Wickramasuriya said.