The Government of India (GOI) has expressed interest in developing the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA).
According to a cabinet paper submitted by Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation, Nimal Siripala de Silva, the Government of India had sent a proposal in May 2017 to “form a joint venture company between GOI or its assigned entity and Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) or its assigned entity for the operation of MRIA on the basis of sharing of equity at the ratio of 70:30 for 40 years”.
The Indian have also shown interest to “operate, manage, maintain and develop MRIA with and not limited to commercial aviation, aircraft maintenance repair and overhaul, flying school, etc..”.
They are willing to invest USD 205 million as their equity share and GOSL is to share the balance of USD 88 million totalling to USD 293 million as per their valuation of assets of MRIA.
The Minister has asked Cabinet to further study the proposal and evaluate it based on the re-valuation of the assets and lease value of the land in Mattala, to appoint a Cabinet Appointed Negotiation Committee (CANC) assisted by a Project Committee to evaluate the proposal and to make recommendations to Cabinet.
The Minister has also proposed that they continue to look at other proposals in the meantime.
In December of 2016, the Government of Sri Lanka called for Expressions of Interest (EOI) to develop the MRIA through a public-private partnership. Since then, eight parties had sent in proposals for the project, one of them was the Airport Authority of India.