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* Everything you need to know about the empty airport India is buying in Sri Lanka
Thu, Jul 12, 2018, 12:01 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

July 11 (CNBC) India is planning to operate Sri Lanka's loss-making Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport in Hambantota, the government said.

The Sri Lankan government in 2017 invited investors to turn the airport into a profit-sharing joint venture. However no proposals were received to operate, manage and maintain the airport.

Here are some interesting facts about Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA):

  • MRIA is located in the town of Mattala, 18 km north of Hambantota.

  • The airport, named after former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, is dubbed the world's emptiest airport due to a lack of flights.

  • Opened in March 2013, it's the second international airport in Sri Lanka after Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo.

  • The first aircraft to land at the airport was a Hawker Beechcraft B200 King Air of the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority on October 16, 2012.

  • The first commercial flight to land at MRIA was SriLankan Airlines Flight 226 from Dubai.

  • Flydubai was the last airline to suspend flights to the airport.

  • The passenger terminal covers 110,000 square feet, can handle 1 million passengers per year, 12 check-in counters and two gates equipped with jetways.

  • The airport also has a restaurant, medical centre and a lounge for business class passengers.

  • Around 2,000 acres of forest were cleared to build the airport, displacing about 200 elephants.

  • The airport has the capacity to handle one million passengers a year and is expected to handle five million passengers, 50,000 tonnes of cargo and 6,250 air traffic operations per annum by 2028.

  • India proposes to operate, manage, maintain and develop the airport through a joint venture, holding 70% of the equity for 40 years.

  • According to reports, India is planning to invest $205 million in the venture, while Sri Lanka would pitch in the balance $88 million.

  • Exim Bank of China provided $190 million loan to construct the airport.

Read More:: CNBC (Source)