The Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA) would be developed as a hub for cargo import and export services in addition to developing it as a foreign tourist destination, Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga said.
He said that special attention had been paid to this when making MRIA as an active airport.
“Prior to the COVID-19 spread in the country, a special programme was implemented to turn MRIA into an active airport. With the opening of the country to tourists, the government is now focusing on reactivating the programme,” he said.
Minister Ranatunga said that it has been decided to open both the Katunayake and Mattala airports for tourists.
MRIA was also used to bring the Sri Lankans who are stranded abroad.
Accordingly, the number of passenger operations carried out at the MRIA from January to November this year was 15,039.
The Minister said a total of 396 aircraft have touched down at the MRIA and the total volume of cargo handled was 83,654 kg.
The government has taken steps to waive off airport fee at the Mattala Airport in a bid to attract new airlines, he said.(Darshana Sanjeewa Balasuriya)