The Ministry of Tourism has decided to utilise the Ratmalana Airport for flight operations with the Maldives and some destinations in the southern parts of India, the Daily Mirror reported.
The Ratmalana Airport, built in 1935, is the first international airport in Sri Lanka. It currently operates commercial flights to internal destinations and corporate jets, and is also used as a flying school and the base for Air Force services.
Minister of Tourism Prasanna Ranatunga said as a number of domestic flights are currently operated on a daily basis at the airport, Cabinet approval has been obtained for international flight operations.
Cabinet approval has also been granted for concessionary refueling charges for airlines using the airport in addition to the 50 per cent waiver of the disembarkation fee.
Minister Ranatunga said discussions have been held with Maldivian Air and Villa Air for possible flight operations.
“Close to 9,000 Maldivians live in areas around Ratmalana for education and employment purposes. Many arrivals from southern states of India stay in the vicinity of Ratmalana such as Bambalapitiya and Colpetty. The airport will target these travellers,” he said. (NewsWire)