Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA) (also known as the Hambantota International Airport) is an international airport serving the city of Hambantota in southeast Sri Lanka. It is named after the Rajapaksa family and is the newest and most developing airport in Sri Lanka.
The airport is estimated to cost US $210 million and, by the end of construction, will cover 2,000 hectares. It is being built to be compatible with the latest Airbus A380 aircraft and has been designed according to recommendations of the International Civil Aviation Organization.
The airport is designed to facilitate for over 800 foreign passengers at peak hours and several local passengers per every 1000 km² inside the buildings. It will be made to support air-sea cargo trans-shipment in conjunction with the nearby Hambantota Port, which is about 15 miles away, and would act as an alternative to the Bandaranaike International Airport from the date of its completion.
The Chinese government is providing financial assistance for the project. The airport is being constructed by the China Harbour Engineering Company and that is their first airport construction project ever taken.
The airport was declared open by the President of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapaksa, on 18 March 2013 and commenced operations with the landing of a SriLankan Airlines special Airbus A340 flight named ‘City of Magam Ruhunupura’ with the President on board.
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