A stable bid is yet to be received for the Mattala international airport in Hambantota, said ports and shipping minister Nimal Siripala de Silva.
With expressions of interest called, the proposals so far are only for aircraft maintenance and other work, he has told ‘Lankadeepa.’
Audit report into performance of airports
The Mattala airport incurred a Rs. 4.44 billion loss in 2021, according to a report by the auditor general.
Also, the Ratmalana airport lost Rs. 461 million, while the airports in Jaffna and Batticaloa earned no income, said the annual report on the performance of the country’s airports.
The Rs. 36,564 million capital expenditure made for the Mattala airport had not been used productively.
As per the repayment of the USD 190 million loan obtained for its construction, the Treasury paid Rs. 1,708 million between 2010 and March 2015 and the Aviation Services Ltd. made payments of Rs. 3,532 million between 2015 to March 2022, said the audit report.
By December 31, 2021, the outstanding payment stood at USD 109 million.
Mattala has a projected passenger capacity of one million, but a mere 91,747 passengers made use of the airport during the past five years. Its cumulative losses between 2017 and 2021 were Rs. 20,590 million.
For Ratmalana airport, the figure stood at Rs. 1,693.66 million for the five-year period.
In the past two years, it handled 13 flights per annum, and catered to 60 passengers in 2020 and 28 in 2021, the report points out.
The Jaffna airport that opened for passengers in October 2019 spent Rs. 40.74 million as maintenance costs without earning any income so far.
So did the Batticaloa airport in the past five years while spending Rs. 74.64 million on its maintenance.