The second International Airport at Mattala, Hambantota will be commissioned by mid 2012, Airport and Aviation Services Chairman Prasanna J Wickramasooriya said.
After completing the first phase of the airport construction project, the first flight will land in Mattala airport by mid 2012 fulfilling a long felt need of having a second international airport in the country.
The airport construction project is in full swing on a 2,000 hectare bare land at a cost of US $ 209 million. The project was launched by President Mahinda Rajapaksa on November 27, 2009 in line with the Greater Hambantota City Development Program.
Construction work is carried out to meet international standards established in the airport and aviation industry such as ICAO specifications for Code 4F. The construction project consists of two phases. The runway, which is being constructed under first phase is 3,500 metres in length and 75 metres in width. It is large enough to operate any jumbo size aircraft like a A380 air-bus, the largest aircraft ever built, Ports and Aviation Ministry Secretary K.V.P. Ranjith de Silva said.
A bare land affected by the scarcity of water has been selected as the airport construction site.
Under first phase. 800 hectares of land has been acquired while under the second phase another 1,200 hectares of land will be further acquired, he said.