New lease of life for Mattala | Daily News

New lease of life for Mattala

Sri Lanka will jointly operate MIA with an Indian company
Indian company to invest US$ 225 mn
Ashok Abeysinghe,  Deputy Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation
Ashok Abeysinghe, Deputy Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation

An Indian company has agreed to an estimate put forward by the government for the lease of the Mattala International Airport (MIA), Deputy Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation, Ashok Abeysinghe said.

Speaking to Daily News Business he said the Indian investor was selected after calling worldwide tenders and it was the only party that agreed to go ahead with the Lankan government’s proposals. Accordingly, the Indian company and the Sri Lanka Civil Aviation Authority will jointly operate the MIA and the two parties will further discuss on a proper operational plan. However, Abeysinghe said, the partnership will be for 40 years.

The minister said negotiations are being carried out and once the plans were finalized it would be submit for Cabinet approval and then for the approval by parliament.

The MIA was opened in 2013 with an investment of US$ 252 million which was made out of a US$ 190 million loan from the China Exim Bank and China Harbour Engineering Company spending approximately US$ 40 million and the Lankan government spending US$ 22 million for the project.

The minister said at present, MIA’s monthly average income stands at only Rs. 6.5 million against an average monthly expenditure of Rs. 290 million. Similarly, the airport has to pay debt servicing of Rs 1.7 billion per annum for 15 years to pay off the loan. Already the government has paid three installments for the period of 2015 to 2018 using funds generated from the Katunayake International Airport. Abeysinghe said the Chief Valuer has estimated the current value of MIA as US$ 320 million and the joint venture with the Indian party would be a win-win situation for both parties because the profits as well as the losses will be borne by the parties at a ratio of 70 to 30.


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