Fees waived to attract cargo flights to Mattala
By Thameenah Razeek
It has been observed that due to the lack of facilities at Mattala International Airport, most logistic and shipping companies are showing little interest in making their cargo arrivals to the airport; creating a huge loss to the country.
In this backdrop, a Gazette Notification was issued; waiving charges, to land and park aeroplanes at Mattala Airport, for one year. Secretary to the Ministry of Tourism S. Hettiarachchi said that they hope companies will land their freight in Mattala International airport once charges are waived.
The standard landing charges are determined on a rate of USD 4 per metric ton of the flights weight. Thereafter the parking fee is charged 10 per cent of the total landing fee.
Speaking further, Hettiarachchi said that one of the facilities that the airport lacks is that there is no cold storage which is a very important for an airport. “Since there is decline in passenger flights, we are currently concentrating on cargo to increase revenue,” he noted.
However, the management has also decided to provide a concession on ground handling services. Local airports charge are higher in ground handling fees compared to neighbouring airports.
“We are also hoping to provide fuel to flights at a subsidised rate, and added officials are currently holding talks with the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation on the matter and the Finance Ministry is acting on the charges by making the change,” he said.