The Ratmalana International Airport is to service global and regional flights from 29 January, revealed State Minister of Aviation and Export Zones Development D.V. Chanaka recently.
He said that initially the airport would handle flights from South India, the Maldives and Bangladesh.
The co-existence of the airport with its locality on identified five key areas in the plan will create renewed hopes for a new era with its growing strategic significance along with the emerging Colombo Financial City, High End Tourism and business travel needs of High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs).
The key strategies will take the airport to a level where there will be increased usage of lands and other resources to fully meeting its growing national socioeconomic requirements.
With the renewed hopes and ambitious plans of the Colombo International Airport Ratmalana, this will be a beginning of a new era.
These facts were revealed during a discussion on the development of the Ratmalana Airport held at the State Ministry of Aviation and Export Zones Development.
Secretary to the Ministry Janaka Chandragupta, Chairman of Airports and Aviation Retired Major General G.A. Chandrasiri, Chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority Upul Dharmadasa and Director General Captain Themiya Abeywickrama were also present at the discussion.
The Colombo International Airport, Ratmalana was established in 1938 and regional international flights were not operational due to the commencement of flights from Katunayake International Airport in 1968. Mr. Chanaka said that steps have already been taken to launch new regional international flights using the resources available at the Ratmalana Airport.
Two airlines have already agreed to launch regional international flights based on India and the Maldives. The minister said talks were underway with several other airlines and those discussions were positive.
He said steps have been taken to develop the Ratmalana International Airport in several key areas. It is also being developed as a local aviation hub, recreational aviation hub and aviation training centre.
In addition, measures will be taken to encourage private jets to Sri Lanka targeting high income earners and to meet the requirements of technical and parking services for private jets such as jet refueling.
In addition, promotions are expected to be launched at Ratmalana Airport for international, commercial and corporate flights.
The Master Plan of the Colombo International Airport Ratmalana has been developed for its envisioned future, for the period from 2018 through 2030, positioning it as an “Exclusive Gateway to Colombo, Sri Lanka’’.
Colombo International Airport Ratmalana has great potential to contribute to the growth of the tourism industry in Sri Lanka.
Considering the socioeconomic changes taking place within the country, the region, and the world, Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) (Private) Limited (AASL) looks into the emerging opportunities in order to meet the growing demands in the foreseeable future.
The long term strategic goal of Colombo International Airport is to bring the airport to the optimum operational capacity by maximum utilization of existing resources.
Colombo International Airport Ratmalana is the first International Airport in Sri Lanka Since 1935, which is located in Ratmalana just 14 km south of the Sri Lanka’s Business Capital of Colombo.
This Airport operates around 70 Aircraft movements per day as the Domestic Aviation Hub by-serving to all domestic aviation needs.
These facilities included Commercial Passenger Aircraft, Aviation Training Schools, International Corporate Jets, VIP & VVIP movements, humanitarian missions during national crisis situations and SLAF operations.
Well-established socio economic, local community and environmental adaptation of the airport operations will be an advantage for existing and future developments.
Potential business opportunities such as High End Tourism, foreign investments for FBO, demand of domestic operators for expansions, growing trends in aviation training in the region, growth of private jet operations, and domestic connectivity to internationally arriving passengers may stress the development needs of Colombo International Airport Ratmalana.
Considering the strategic significance, capacities and capabilities, the Colombo International Airport Ratmalana will be developed under five main areas during this period.
It is now necessary to adjust Colombo International Airport Ratmalana to cater this potential demand of International Corporate Jets in both business and national aspects.
Colombo International Airport Ratmalana is the Domestic Aviation Hub of Sri Lanka and facilitating all 15 domestic airlines in all aspects and there are a number of requests from new operators and existing operators for expansion.
Domestic Aviation Hub strategy is focused on promoting the airport for the local, business tourists and connecting destination for international high-end tourists visiting Sri Lanka.
For the implementation of this strategy, it is required to shift SLAF Hangars to the Northern side of the Runway along with structural modifications of the hangars, overlay the Apron and construct a new taxi way etc.