New Awning increases SriLankan’s cargo capacity at BIA
SriLankan Cargo took yet another step forward in its quest to make Colombo the Cargo Hub of the Indian Ocean, with the completion of a giant awning at the Cargo Centre of the Bandaranaike International Airport at a cost of 30 million rupees.
The awning added 3,500 square metres of working area to the earlier capacity of 8,000 square metres, an increase of 44%. Located on the runway side of the Cargo Centre, the prefabricated steel structure was completed in only six months.
“SriLankan Cargo has been handling more business than it has ever done before, and the amount of imports, exports and trans-shipment cargo keeps on increasing,” said Nalin Rodrigo, Head of Cargo at SriLankan. “We expect this to continue increasing, as we expand our dedicated freighter operations in the region, coupled with the expansion of regular flights of SriLankan Airlines and the increase in traffic of all airlines that fly to Colombo.”
SriLankan Cargo has greatly expanded its operations as the airline rapidly expands its fleet, frequencies and number of destinations. In addition, SriLankan Cargo also operates two Antonov AN12 dedicated freighter aircraft in the region, and is exploring the possibility of acquiring a third freighter. Increased cargo traffic is also expected following the recent signing of the South Asian Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA), which is aimed at making a free trade block of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Maldives.
"We needed to cope with the demand of expanded operations until the new Cargo Centre building is completed early next year," said Janaka Munasinghe, Manager Cargo Operations.
The earlier capacity of the Cargo Centre was 100,000 metric tones per year, but SriLankan Cargo far exceeded that and handled 125,000 metric tones last year. A second warehouse, which is currently under construction, will increase the Centre’s annual handling capacity to 300,000 metric tonnes. SriLankan Cargo handles cargo of all airlines, numbering about 30, which operate through Colombo.
SriLankan Airlines Cargo Centre won a Merit Award at the 8th Annual Taiki Akimoto 5S Competition conducted by JASTICA last year.
"The awning enables our staff to work uninterrupted at all times of day and night, no matter if there are monsoon rains lashing outside. We expect the level of efficiency to improve even on sunny days, as our staff will be protected from the sun," said Munasinghe.
For further details on SriLankan Cargo, visit
Corporate Communications Division
SriLankan Airlines Limited
August 12th, 2004