Sri Lanka mulls closing Ratmalana airport
ECONOMYNEXT – A plan to make Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo into ‘Megapolis’ of nine million people has proposed developing a domestic airport in the city to serve budget carriers or converting the land into real estate development.
The airport in the Ratmalana suburb is used by the military, training schools and smaller private aircraft.
"The government has been contemplating to redevelop the airport into residential and commercial development as the airport is not optimally used and may not be viable in the long term," the structure plan for the mega city said.
"While the decision has not been made on its future, it is worth considering to keep the Ratmalana airport as a city airport serving the shorter destinations as well as serving the projected increase in chartered and private planes and the possibility to develop it into a hub for budget airlines.
"No additional land can be allocated for this airport as it is located in the urbanized area."
The airport has a 2.5 kilometer runway.
Privately owned budget carriers have taken East Asia by storm, after the ASEAN trade block followed Europe by giving freedom for ordinary citizens to start international airlines, ending airline monopolies reserved for the elected ruling class and their acolytes.