The Government of Sri Lanka is set to begin constructing the new terminal at Bandaranaike International Airport, which is aimed at accommodating increasing passenger numbers.

Airport and Aviation Sri Lanka chairman G A Chandrasiri revealed that, despite having a capacity for 6.9 million annual passengers, the airport served ten million people in 2019.

Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA), also known as Katunayake International Airport or Colombo International Airport, is located to the north of Colombo in the town of Katunayake.

In April 2017, Bandaranaike Airport unveiled its plan to construct a second international terminal and upgrade its existing runway as part of a major infrastructure expansion.

The construction of the new terminal is expected to be completed in the next three years. With this, the airport will be able to handle 20 million passengers annually.

The terminal construction was delayed due to concerns over the costs quoted by the construction companies. The project is funded by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Sri Lanka’s tourism sector has seen a steep increase after the civil war ended in May 2009.

Last year, Sri Lanka welcomed 1.9 million travellers, with the majority arriving from India, China and Britain.

The government hopes to receive three million tourists this year and ten million in the next five years.

In 2018, Airports Authority of India (AAI) announced plans to develop Palaly Airport of Sri Lanka. This was AAI’s first project in Sri Lanka.

This area is strategically important for India as Palaly is located in Jaffna, which is a Tamil territory.