Sri Lanka Civil Aviation Ministry said that its proposed second international Air Port has been awarded the international compliance certificate for its operation.
The minister of Civil Aviation said that the International Airport Certification (certifications of compliance and certification of aerodrome) to the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport has been awarded and this would enable the Air Port to operate as an international airport from its inception.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa will commission Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport on March 18. This is the second International Airport in Sri Lanka, he said.
"This is the first ever Sri Lankan International Airport to be operated as an International Airport from the day one of its commencement of operations", Civil Aviation Minister Piyankara Jayaratne has said.
He also said the BIA commenced operations in 1963, but received international status in 1968.
This is considered as a significant landmark in the journey of Sri Lanka towards becoming the aviation hub in Asia under Mahinda Chinthanaya - Vision for the Future. The airport has a one million passenger handling capacity.
Minister Jayaratne pointed out that the second phase of the development project will commence after March 18 which will give a handling of nine million passenger capacity by June 2015. After completion of its second phase, the Mattala international airport will handle five million passengers.
Once all development projects are completed, Sri Lanka's International Airports will have the capacity of handling 21 million passengers annually.
Sri Lanka signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Lufthansa to set up a aircraft maintenance centre. This would bring a significant amount of income to Sri Lanka.
The minister has pointed that the Sri Lanka Civil Aviation Authority is in 19 place among 181 countries in the world, fourth place among 34 countries in the Pacific region and first place in South Asia, in its capability and carrying out its services/duties.