ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is planning to install a pre-fabricated terminal as a stop gap solution after a delay in awarding a contract to expand capacity at the island’s main airport which is running at almost double its capacity.
Sri Lanka’s Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA), owned by state-run Airport and Aviation Services Ltd (AASL), handled 9.5 million passengers in 2016, though it is designed to handle only 6 million passengers a year.
A Japanese funded project to expand the terminal to 15 million passengers was originally scheduled to be completed by 2020, but a delay in the award of the contract has pushed the date back to 2022.
"Increasing the capacity of the BIA expanding facilities in multifaceted is important requirement in terms of the development of the aviation industry and the tourism industry in the country," a Finance Ministry report said.
"Nevertheless, AASL has not yet finalized the procurement process of BIA phase II stage 2 expansion project which need to be completed by 2020 to meet the increasing demand of another 2 million passengers."
Transport and Civil Aviation Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva was given the nod by the cabinet of ministers to set up a pre-fabricated terminal which could handle up to 400 passengers an hour (about 3.5 million passengers a year).
The prefab terminal is expected to be running by 2018. (Colombo/Dec15/2017)