Friday, July 06, 2018

Airports Authority of India, Sri Lankan ghost airport and the Chinese connection

In a move that seems both strategic and business-like, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) is reportedly planning to acquire 70 per cent stake in Sri Lanka's Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport, an airport situated in small fishing town of Hambantota, near the southern tip of the island nation. The $250-million international airport is struggling to operate flights - the last international flight was discontinued in May owing to safety concerns. Since then, the airport is not operating even a single flight.
That raises the questions as to why the India's national airports agency AAI is interested in acquiring this asset for 40 years which was built with the help of Chinese authorities. The decision seems strategic because airport will give India access to Chinese activities in Sri Lanka.

Since 2010, China has been investing substantially in various infrastructure projects in the country. China is already operating a seaport near the airport on a 99-year lease.
06/07/18 Manu Kaushik/Business Today