Sri Lanka’s second international airport, a pet project of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his hometown built at a cost of USD 210 million, could be used as a temporary paddy storage facility, officials said on Wednesday.
The Mattala Mahinda Rajapaksa International Airport, built with Chinese funds, at the southern port district of Hambantota was commissioned in 2013.
The opposition during the Rajapaksa presidency linked the airport’s construction to his extravagance with Chinese lent money.
They dubbed it the airport where flights did not land. The Chair of the state-owned Paddy Marketing Board (PMB), M D Dissanayake in a letter to the Southern Regional Manager W S Thilakaratne had explored the possibility of using the airport’s facilities for paddy storage.
All PMB paddy stores in Hambantota have reached full capacity and the PMB needs additional storage space.