Sri Lanka plans to complete the second terminal at Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo before the end of 2023.

Construction work began in 2014 and the project was scheduled to be completed in 2017.

However, several components in the existing plan did not fit the requirements. As a result, construction did not proceed on schedule, causing a delay, Xinhua reported quoting local experts.

In an official meeting recently, Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa ordered officials to accelerate the construction work programme and complete the terminal in the next three years.

Economic Revival and Poverty Alleviation Presidential Task Force chairman Basil Rajapaksa was quoted by the publication as saying that the second terminal will be developed as a smart terminal with the technological facilities to meet the necessary requirements.

The new terminal will enable the airport to handle more than 15 million passengers per year.

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It will also enable the airport to handle arrival and departure operations at separate terminals.

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

Administered by Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka), it acts as a hub for Sri Lankan Airlines and serves several international airlines.

The construction of the airport began in 1964 and was completed in 1967. It is the first international airport in Sri Lanka.