Strategically located in Southern Sri Lanka, the Mattala International Airport in Hambantota is being constructed to ensure the country is equipped with a second airport apart from the existing Bandaranaike International Airport and to increase Business activity in the region. The Airport project which will cost a total of US$209 million is expected to serve as an alternate airport to the BIA and with the capability of attracting increased business ventures to the region. The land allocation for the project is 2000 hectares out of which 800 hectares will be used under stage I. in this regard, 400 hectares will be used for the main airport infrastructure while the rest will be allocated for related industries. Construction of the airport will be carried out in two stages with the first targeting one million passengers per annum 45,000 MT of cargo per annum; 30,000 aircraft movements per annum; 10 parking bays for aircraft and two aero bridges with one for Code F type aircraft. Stage II is planned to target five million passengers per annum; 150,000MT of cargo per annum; 45,000 aircraft movements per annum; 20 parking bays for aircraft and 14 aero bridges.
By ensuring there is more economic activity generated in the Hambantota region it would assist in reducing the congestion in Colombo and its suburbs. It is also expected to provide a vital link to the tourism and hospitality industry that is mainly concentrated in the South of the country. In this respect, the airport’s presence would provide for the integrated development of the sea and air hub in the southern region. The runway at the airport is constructed with a length of 3,500 meters and a width of 75 meters that would be capable of accommodating code 4F aircraft. The taxiway is 370 meters in length and 60 meters in width with an apron that can accommodate 10 parking positions sufficient for the new airport. Some of the key elements found at the new airport are the passenger terminal building constructed on 10,000 square meter site, a cargo building on 1,000square meter site and an air traffic control tower built at a height of 35 meters. The new airport is equipped with modern state-of-the art equipment for its air navigation system.
The passenger terminal will comprise of separate departure and arrival routes for passengers crating greater ease at the airport. The terminal would be able to process travelers from its 12 check-indesks, 10 immigration and emigration desks in addition to duty-free areas, airline lounges and VIP lounges.
The cargo terminal is equipped with separate Export and Import cargo sections and area for customs, airline, plant and animal quarantine, two cool rooms, a special vault for high value items, as well as other facilities. Infrastructure work has been carried out for creating improved access to the country’s second international airport on a dual lane ground access system form Hambantota, Embilipitiya and Thanamalwila that would link these respectively regions. The Hambantota region is expected to emerge as the most favored region as an international business hub in the future due mainly to its geographical location on the East-West shipping and air routes. It has been observed that the investor community is expected to gain from being part of this region due to the strategic location of the airport and ease of access from other regions in the country. Investors would be provided with ample space for facility erection; customs duty/tax free transshipment; warehousing facilities. As a distribution hub it would enable investors to pre-position for distribution and repackaging for the local and international markets. The region would become an increasing conductive environment for the investors since it would be the face of the international gateway with adequate banking and corporate finance in addition to development of infrastructure facilities and logistics. Moreover, the abundance of raw materials available with access to a persevering and creative workforce in addition to the availability of adequate real estate would ensure that this region becomes attractive for future investments. Arriving at the Mattala airport would enable visitors to the country to travel to the different tourists attractions in a timely manner. Available information has indicated that the airport would be 53km to the Yala wildlife sanctuary; 130km to Hikkaduwa coral reefs; 30km to the Kataragama holy City; 110 km to Arugambay; 138km to Kandy; 270km to Anuradhapura; 103km to Ratnapura; 94k, to Nuwara Eliya and last, but not least, 67km to Bandarawela.