Future of Mattala to be decided this week

The Government is expected to take a decision on the future of the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA) this week.

Transport and Civil Aviation Minister Arjuna Ranatunga told The Sunday Morning that he hopes to have a meeting with President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe this week regarding MRIA.

When asked if the Government will go ahead with an earlier decision to sign a deal with India to manage the airport, Minister Ranatunga said, he is in the process of studying the proposal and will take a decision together with the President and the Prime Minister.

The Government was in the process of finalising a deal to handover the loss making airport to India, but talks later stalled.

The airport was officially opened in March, 2013 but has been operating at a loss since then.

Fly Dubai was the last airline to operate commercial flights to MRIA but last year it terminated its operations to the facility built at a cost of $ 210 million by the previous regime.