Friday, August 29, 2014

Sri Lanka anticipates further development

Jane's Airport Review

Neelam Mathews
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Mattala Rajapaksala International Airport represents part of the island's bid to position itself as a tourism and cargo-handling destination
For decades, Sri Lanka relied on a single international gateway at Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport. However, this airport has reached saturation point beyond its designed capacity of 6 million passengers per year, processing 7.32 million in 2013.

The first phase of Mattala Rajapaksala International Airport went operational in 2013.1565965The first phase of Mattala Rajapaksala International Airport went operational in 2013. (Neelam Mathews) 
"Sources at the airport indicate that AASL is in advanced discussions with Oman Air and held talks with AirAsia X. SriLankan CEO Kapila Chandrasena told IHS Jane's that he expects MRIA to become a hub for leisure traffic to the Maldives. The airline plans by 2015 to shift its narrowbody MRO operations from Bandaranaike International to a new USD30 million facility at MRIA with two hangars. It will also operate a training academy at the newer airport.,,,,,,,,,,
Once business picks up, MRIA could be further expanded. The MRIA project covers around 5,000 acres, and once the second and final phase is completed, the airport will increase its capacity from the present one million to five million passengers and 150,000 tonnes of cargo per year.,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
IHS Jane's understands that fuel systems - contracted directly by the Ministry of Petroleum through Ceylon Petroleum Corporation to Dubai's Amana Pipeline Construction - are being tested at MRIA. A proposal for a 40 km pipeline from Hanbantota Port was deemed unfeasible due to lack of aircraft movements and a shortage of funds.,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
The fuel farm at Mattala Rajapaksala International Airport.1565966The fuel farm at Mattala Rajapaksala International Airport. (Neelam Mathews)
"We understand however, there are problems with the construction of the fuel tank at the Hanbantota Port and this must be addressed before a pipeline can be considered. ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

The recent integration of Sri Lankan into the oneworld alliance is likely to increase activity at Bandaranaike International Airport, which has launched a new phase of expansion. "We will help position Colombo as the new gateway of South Asia and forecast our transfer passenger traffic increasing from slightly over 40% to 50% thanks to synergies with other oneworld carriers," said SriLankan CEO Kapila Chandrasena.
Work on expanding the passenger terminal will begin by the end of 2014 with the addition of a second departure hall and a second pier able to accommodate up to eight aircraft directly in contact with the terminal. Capacity will then be boosted from six to 12 million passengers.
The extension is due to be operational by 2016.
Neelam Mathews

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