By chance, if you have ever visited this splendid island of Sri Lanka, you might surely know Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA). Of course, it is also popular as the Colombo International Airport (CMB). However, it was through this airport that all the arrivals and departures took place in Sri Lanka, until 2013. And even after the establishment of the Mattala International Airport, this still remains the main central hub of overseas travel. Besides, as this splendid island gained more and more popularity as a significant tourist attraction, the number of travelers converging at the airport improved day by day. Hence, the government of Sri Lanka, together with the aviation authorities took several measures to enhance its quality and services. Among them, one of the most important was the project of the BIA’s terminal 2. The authorities postponed it several times, owing to many reasons. Finally, BIA’s Terminal 2 begins construction!
A few weeks back, the Chairman of the Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) Ltd. (AASL), Maj. Gen. (Retd.) G.A. Chandrasiri spoke to the media with regard. At that moment, he noted that despite the COVID-19 pandemic situation, the construction of the BIA’s terminal 2 will be launched on 30th November 2020. He revealed that the discussions took place with all the stakeholder parties with regard, and all of them agreed to proceed ahead. Moreover, he also noted that nothing is disrupting the launch of the constructions, since almost all the preliminary tasks of the project are in the process of being completed. Further, he added that this is a three-year construction project. Accordingly, BIA’s terminal 2 will conclude by November 2023.
The Requirement of a New Terminal
By 2018, the BIA had around 170 aircraft movements, with an average of 60 heavy aircraft per day. Accordingly, the BIA had to handle around 10 million passengers annually. Then, its existing terminal with a capacity of six million annual passengers had to cater to this urging requirement. This brought a number of adverse impacts for the processes of the BIA, as there were delays of hours, especially, when the passengers were collecting their baggage. This gave rise to an urgent requirement for a new terminal, to cater to the demands of travel, especially related to the budding Tourism Industry in Sri Lanka.
And it was a few years back that the authorities identified this requirement, and commenced setting plans for it. Unfortunately, it took a long time to launch its constructions. Thus, the news of the launch of the BIA’s Terminal 2 Construction Project is indeed important in all terms.
Features of BIA’s New Terminal!
As per the AASL, the arrivals of passengers grew 5-6% Year-on-Year. Hence, it is not a secret that the new terminal should have the capabilities of catering to a larger crowd than ever. Accordingly, the new terminal of BIA is to come with a series of amazing features. In brief, it would be capable of handling nine million passengers annually. Further, the 96 check-in counters, 7 baggage carousels, and 8 baggage claim belts would be great additions for it. Apart from that, this new terminal is to have 16 contact boarding gates with 28 passenger boarding bridges, and six bus gates as well. All these together will make BIA’s Terminal 2 one of the best in the modern world for sure.
Funds for the BIA’s Terminal 2 Construction Project
The estimated cost to complete the construction of the BIA’s terminal 2 is $ 800 million. Further, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) happens to be the concessionary loan provider of the project. The two parties signed the contract related to the project four years back, in March 2016. Yet, owing to a few tender-related issues, the project was delayed. Later, the authorities scheduled to commence the project in August 2020, with the aim of completing the project by August 2023. Still, they had to postpone the project since there were issues with importing workers from foreign countries amidst the pandemic situation.
By now, everything is settled. All the parties are looking forward to commencing the work on the project. Besides, the chairman of AASL said that the design and the plan of the terminal remain the same as planned a few years back. According to the tenders, Taisei Corporation, a Japanese company is in charge of the construction of this project. Taisei signed the contract with the AASL on 12th March, and they are ready to proceed ahead with the work as scheduled. Moreover, they are planning to import workers from Japan, Malaysia, China, Singapore, and many other countries.
Likewise, everything is set to launch the BIA’s terminal 2 construction project on 30th November 2020. Upon completion, it will surely be a greater addition to the BIA. It will further enhance the efficiency of their work while mitigating congestion at the airport. And, why not? It would also offer a wonderful experience for the passengers. Hence, BIA’s terminal 2 would certainly be an added value for the Sri Lanka tourism industry as well.