With the number of tourist arrivals set to increase, Tourism Promotion Minister John Amaratunga has requested the government to make arrangements to ready the Ratmalana Airport to handle international flight operations.
Minister Amaratunga told Daily Mirror that the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) would not be able to cope with the demands of having to cater to increased influx of tourists into the country.
“Until the BIA is expanded and developed we will have to come up with an alternate plan to ensure that we can handle the extra arrivals comfortably. We can easily land small aircraft at the Ratmalana Airport and for this to happen it would have to be developed. An aircraft with around 100 passengers on board, originating from nearby countries can land at the airport in Ratmalana,” he said.
Asked about the Mattala International Airport, he said it too would have to be used one day to accommodate the increase in incoming flights. “There is a lot of congestion being experienced at the BIA at present. That is why I suggested that we look at landing some flights in Ratmalana as an option,” he said.(Kelum Bandara)