The failed Mattale Rajapakse International Airport will become a Maintenance and Repair Centre, reported The Sunday Leader.
Chairman of Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) Limited, Prasanna J. Wickramasuriya, claimed that the centre was needed in order to make Sri Lanka a regional aviation hub.
“If we have a MRO center in the country we can repair and maintain not only our own Sri Lankan and Mihin Air aircraft but also could provide the service to the other regional airlines, which is a money spinning industry,” said Wickramasuriya.
However unnamed sources told The Sunday Leader that the real reason behind the switch in operations was to recover the huge losses incurred by the airport after foreign airlines refused to land there.
“After investing Rs.209 million for a project that that is yet to bring revenue to the country over the past several months, the government is now trying to open a MRO center spending more money. Although it is good and profitable to have our own MRO center in the country, it is questionable whether foreign aircraft would come to Mattala for services or repairs taking a risk,” the sources said..