(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) – The Ratmalana Airport will be promoted as a Leisure Flying Center under the Government’s program to develop the Airport as a domestic aviation hub, Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga said.
Accordingly, new local air routes to tourist attractions and new runways suitable for aircraft will be identified, Minister Ranatunga said. It is also expected to ease the barriers to flying to such identified locations.
In addition, the Ratmalana International Airport is expected to be promoted in a number of new areas, said Minister Ranatunga.
Accordingly, the Ratmalana Airport will be promoted for leisure flights, aerial wedding photography flights, flights related to dramas and cinematography etc.
In addition, promotional programs are expected to be launched at Ratmalana Airport for international commercial and corporate flights as well as private jet operations.
Targeting very high income people, action will be taken to bring them to Sri Lanka. Ratmalana Airport also will provide facilities for private jets such as technical parking services and refueling. The Minister states that he hopes to promote it in the world in the future as well.
The Ratmalana Airport, which was closed due to the spread of COVID-19, was reopened to the public on January 1, following the health guidelines.
Despite the pandemic situation, 2539 passengers received air services from Ratmalana Airport during the year ended March 31. During that period 16511 flights were operated from Ratmalana Airport out of which 432 were domestic flights, 10332 flights have been conducted for pilot training and 6006 flights have been conducted by the Sri Lanka Air Force.
Minister Prasanna Ranatunga said with the COVID-19 vaccination, domestic flights that were stopped at Ratmalana Airport due to the pandemic are expected to resume and special concessions have been made to companies who wish to operate flights at the Ratmalana Airport.
Accordingly, as an incentive, aircraft landing and parking charges have been suspended for one year. In addition, the airport service tax levied on passengers has been suspended for a period of one year.
The Minister further said that steps have been taken to expedite the development process of the Ratmalana Airport along with the epidemic control and COVID vaccination.