The image of the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA) had been tarnished after storing tons of paddy at the airport premises, a senior official at the MRIA said.
“Even after the landing of the world's largest cargo aircraft, Antonov An-225 Mriya on Wednesday, people kept on saying ‘the largest aircraft landed at the Mattala paddy store.’
He said MRIA was constructed as an international airport built by the previous Government.
“MRIA was internationally and locally a well-recognised airport but the image was tarnished when the Yahapalanaya Government came to office,” he said.
Because of storing the paddy several high-sensitivity types of equipment had been damaged from the paddy dust, he said.
“However, all damages were paid for by the Government following this unnecessary attempt,” he said.
“Despite, paddy being removed after January 14, 2016, the Government could not remove the tarnished image,” he said.
The cargo terminal which was used to store paddy was refurbished and came into operation since January this year.
“Even on social media the same issue was spoken about,” he said. (Chaturanga Samarawickrama)