No proposal to take controlling stake in Mattala Airport: India

The Civil Aviation Ministry of India on Thursday said that there is no proposal under consideration for the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to buy a controlling stake in Sri Lanka's Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport, the Economic Times reported.

In the Lok Sabha, BJP member Poonam Mahajan has asked
whether the AAI is considering purchasing a controlling stake in the Mattala airport, thereby gaining ownership of the airport.

"No madam. No such proposal is under consideration at present," Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said in a written reply.

To the query on whether the AAI would build a flying school and a maintenance, repair and overhaul unit at the Mattala airport, Sinha replied in the negative.

On July 19, Sri Lanka's Civil Aviation Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva had told the country's Parliament that the AAI has been asked to submit its business plan for operating the loss-making Mattala airport.

The USD 210 million facility, 241-km south-east of Colombo, is dubbed the "world's emptiest airport".

The airport was officially opened in March 2013. The only international flight operating from there was halted in May due to recurrent losses and flight safety issues.