Mattala Airport to offer waiver on landing charges, stopping fees
Landing charges and stopping fees at the Mattala International Airport will be completely suspended for one year.
The Minister of Tourism, Prasanna Ranatunga has stated that this step was taken with the intention of bringing more international planes to the Mattala Airport, while the relevant gazette notification was published on 08 September.
On international flights, the maximum landing weight is US$ 4 per metric tonne and the stopping fee is 10 per cent of the landing fee.
In addition, the Government has decided to suspend the export tax levied at the Mattala Airport for two years. The relevant proposal was also approved by the Cabinet. Minister Prasanna Ranatunga said that the Ministry of Finance is currently taking further steps in this regard.
The US$ 60 airport deviation tax is levied on passengers is a significant portion of their entry price. Minister Prasanna Ranatunga said that studies have shown that it has a detrimental effect on tourist attraction as compared to regional competitors, adding that subsidised airlines have also requested that the Mattala Airport Deduction Tax be waived or reduced for some time.
In addition, it has been decided to offer a discounted rate for ground service at the Mattala Airport. Ground handling fees at Sri Lankan airports are higher than other regional airports.
The Minister said that this decision was taken as it was an obstacle to attracting international airlines to Mattala. SriLankan Airlines is currently working on this.
The Government has also decided to provide subsidised fuel for flights arriving in Mattala. Minister Prasanna Ranatunga says that discussions have already been held with the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation in this regard. Cabinet approval has also been granted to grant this concession. Ranatunga also said that he expects the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation to respond positively in this regard.
Minister Prasanna Ranatunga has stated that all these steps will be taken to transform the Mattala Airport into an active airport and that he hopes to develop the Mattala Airport as the second international airport in the country within the next six months.