An Indian company has emerged with plan for taking over Sri Lanka’s struggling Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA) being called as the “world’s emptiest international airport. The proposal, which would see India pumping $205 million into the airport for a 70% share for 40 years, was approved by Sri Lanka’s Civil Aviation Minister.
Sri Lanka had received a total of eight proposals from various other parties — including China — to take over the airport; the Indian plan is reportedly being reviewed by the cabinet now.
Mattala airport had difficulty attracting both passengers and airlines. Only one or two flights per day currently stop there. It’s only 250 kilometer drive from the commercial city, Colombo.
India’s offer to take over the Mattala airport came hardly two weeks after a landmark deal where 70% share of the Hambantota deep sea port was sold to China for 99 years.
The port and airport are within a half hour drive from each other, and are part of the same scheme of development.