Plane delayed at Mattala

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A Sri Lankan Airlines flight was held up at the newly opened Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport yesterday for more than one and half hours due to the bowser that supplies fuel arriving late, Daily Mirror learns.

The Riyadh-bound flight UL 273 took off from the Bandaranaike International Airport  at noon, and landed at Mattala for refueling. Though the captain announced that the flight would be held up for only half an hour, the plane was kept for one and half hours.

According to informed sources, there had been a delay in bringing fuel to the airport. There are no facilities for storing aviation fuel at the airport. Fuel is brought to the airport from the tanks attached to the Hambantota port.  

The issue had been raised in Parliament last week. United National Party (UNP) MP Ravi   Karunanayake said in the House that Mattala was the only airport that did not have facilities to store the fuel required by the planes that land there.
Environment Minister Susil Premajayantha said fuel was brought from the tanking facility attached to the Hambantota Port.
“Bowsers are used to supply fuel. Therefore, a problem will not arise,” he said. (KB)


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