Moving ahead with the airport development projects of Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) (Private) Limited – (AASL), construction of the Import Cargo Terminal Building at BIA-Stage 1 groundbreaking ceremony was ceremonially launched by Hon. Prasanna Ranatunga, Minister of Tourism and Hon. D. V. Chanaka, State Minister of Aviation and Export Zones Development on 25th January 2021 with the participation of Mr. S Hettiarachchi, the Secretary to the Ministry of Tourism and Aviation, Mr. Madawa Dewasurendra, State Secretary-Ministry of Tourism, Major General (Rtd) G. A. Chandrasiri, Chairman AASL and other distinguished guests.
The Contract for the above project was awarded to the Contractor, Nawaloka Construction Company (Pvt.) Ltd on 28th October 2020 at a total cost of Rs 2.3 bn on the approval of the Cabinet of Ministers dated 05th October 2020 and the agreement was signed on 12th November 2020 for a construction period of 730 days.
The scope of the project is the construction of a three-storied reinforced concrete building with mezzanine floor (approximate area -18,715 m2), construction of structural steel prefabricated building (approximate area -1,567 m2),02 nos. guardhouses (approximate area – 11.4m2), road widening (approximate area-555 m2), construction of parking area (approximate area-1,620 m2) with Mechanical, Electrical, IT works.
Being strategically positioned in the Indian ocean between the commercial centres of the East and West, Airport & Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) (Private) Limited provides 24/7 services at the Air Cargo terminal at BIA. Facilitating international trade, BIA provides cargo handling services with a capacity of 250,000 MT per annum and a dedicated, well-trained & qualified team. This import Cargo Complex will provide the capacity to handle 150,000 MT per year. This complex will have cool rooms and an automated storage retrieval racking system.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, BIA continues to support the exports as well as imports and transshipments playing a key role in supporting the needs of the industry. Further, during the COVID-19 global pandemic situation, there is a significant growth of exporting perishable cargo from BIA to international markets.
Along with the expansion that is underway, the air cargo terminal will undoubtedly play a key role in supporting the needs and demands of the industry.
Air cargo is a trade facilitator that contributes to global economic development and creates millions of jobs. The global economy depends on the ability to deliver high-quality products at competitive prices to consumers worldwide. Air cargo transports over US$ 6 trillion worth of goods globally, accounting for approximately 35% of world trade by value per annum. Since the COVID-19 crisis began, air cargo has been a vital partner in delivering much-needed medicines, medical equipment and in keeping global supply chains functioning for the most time-sensitive materials. This has been done through dedicated cargo freighter operations, utilization of cargo capacity in passenger aircraft, and repatriation flights to affected areas. Despite the COVID19 pandemic, Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) continues to support the exports as well as imports and transshipments playing a key role in supporting the needs of the industry. Accordingly, we’re committed to our role in keeping vital supplies open across the globe at this challenging time and BIA handled 151,051 MT of cargo in 2020.
Mr. Upul Dharmadasa, Chairman Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka, Mr.Ashok Pathirage, Chairman, Sri Lankan Airlines, Mr.Rajiv Sooriyaarachchi, Vice Chairman-AASL, Mr.Vipula Gunatilleka – Chief Executive Officer – SriLankanAirlines, Mr.ArunaWarushahennadige, Director– AASL/Director Aviation Projects, Mr. Shehan Sumanasekara, Director-AASL/Director Operations, Senior Officers of the Ministry, Senior Officials of Airport & Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) Limited, Sri Lankan Airlines, Civil Aviation Authority (CAASL), Sri Lanka Customs, Department of Immigration and Emigration, Cargo Handlers, Freight Forwarders, and other distinguished guests attended the groundbreaking ceremony of the BIA Import Cargo Terminal Building.