Sri Lanka opens second international airport in a boost for tourism
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) - Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has commissioned the country's second international airport built at a cost of US$209 million (S$261million).
The Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport, named after the president, was officially opened Monday in his native district of Hambantota, 165 km southeast of the capital, Colombo.
Built with a Chinese loan, the airport has an initial capacity of 1 million passengers a year. It can handle 30,000 aircraft movements and 45,000 metric tons of cargo annually. Officials hope it will open the island's south to tourism.
After ending of the country's civil war in 2009, Mr Rajapaksa's government has invested heavily in infrastructure development, with special emphasis on his district.