Sri Lanka’s Minister for Ports and Aviation, Chamal Rajapaksa, announced plans to commence construction of USD200 million second airport at Mattala, Hambantota on 27-Nov-2009 (Daily News, 21-Nov-2009). The airport will be constructed in two phases on 2,000 ha of land. The first phase will cover 800 hectares, including a 3,500 m runway, taxiway and parking facilities, while the second phase over 1,200 ha will include aviation related facilities, MRO facilities, a pilots training centre and hotels. Phase I is scheduled for completion in 2011, with the commercial operations to commence in Dec-2011.
Sri Lanka to construct 2nd airport at Mattala, Hambantota
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As a result of the restoration of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States of America the US President Barack Obama visited Cuba in Mar-2016. In his speeches he placed heavy emphasis on youth, generational shift and the future (the main protagonist of the old guard, Fidel Castro, rejected Obama's visit and his words of reconciliation). This has whetted the appetite of airlines, airport operators, ATM providers and investors seeking opportunities there.
Indeed, and even though Cuba has long been receiving flights from many countries if not from the US (where only ‘special circumstances’ applied), it is possible to bracket these events with other similar outcomes in countries such as Iran and Myanmar. Suddenly, Cuba is ‘open for business’ in the eyes of the western world, but that might not quite be the case. There is a long way ahead and there is a lot to be done, with no guarantees.
This report, while dealing briefly with wider aviation and, indeed, economic issues arising out of the rapprochement, focuses on the country’s leading airport, Havana’s Jose Marti International - and how it stands to gain from these developments; particularly if it could become a regional hub.