Airports in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a stunning destination for adventure enthusiasts, foodies, shopaholics, spiritual seekers and almost everybody. This mythical place has a very rich history, and a medley of cultures can be found here. Sri Lanka even finds its mention in the Indian epic, Ramayana and tourists visit the place to listen to the untold narratives of Ravana. 

Sri Lanka is also the home to 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is decorated with verdant gardens, mighty peaks, scenic beaches and a lot more. And the airports in Sri Lanka have immensely helped tourists to discover the charm of Sri Lanka. Over the years the airports in Sri Lanka too have been expanding their boundaries to ease the journey of the travellers. 

Airports in Sri Lanka are no less than a lifeline for all frequent travellers who prefer air routes over others. Bringing tourists from all over the world, the Sri Lankan airports are also a good source of tourism in the country. To know more about the airports in Sri Lanka, scroll through the page and get all the details. 

Explore some of the best tourist attractions in Colombo.

About the airports in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka has a total number of 22 airports that serve both regional and international destinations. Bearing a herd of travellers from around the globe, the airports in Sri Lanka are well equipped. Out of the 22 airports, 5 of them function as international airports. The rest of the airports are best known for enhancing domestic connectivity. 

Here is a list of the 22 airports in Sri Lanka: 

  1. Ampara Airport
  2. Amparai Airport
  3. Anuradhapura Airport
  4. Colombo Airport
  5. Batticaloa Airport
  6. Bentota River Airport
  7. Castlereigh Reservoir Airport
  8. China Bay Airport
  9. Dambulu Oya Tank Airport
  10. Hingurakgoda Airport
  11. Kankesanturai Airport
  12. Katukurunda Slaf Base Airport
  13. Kelaniya River Airport
  14. Koggala Airport
  15. Kondavattavan Tank Airport
  16. Mahaweli Airport
  17. Mawella Lagoon Airport
  18. Minneriya Airport
  19. Polgolla Reservoir Airport
  20. Sigiriya Slaf Base Airport
  21. Vic. Resevour Kandy Airport
  22. Wirawila Airport 

However, out of all these IndiGo only operates at the Colombo Airport in Sri Lanka.

A list of popular airports in Sri Lanka

1. Colombo Airport

The Colombo Airport is also known as the Bandaranaike International Airport. It is located in the capital city of Sri Lanka, Colombo and is situated about 35 km away from the heart of Colombo. The airport is named after Sri Lanka’s former Prime Minister, S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike. It was formerly called the Katunayake Airport and was renamed only in 1995. A number of airlines including IndiGo offers flights on a regular basis to the Bandaranaike International Airport. 

The airport started operating as an airfield during the second world war. However, with rigorous proposals the airport was finally approved to function as the major international airport in Sri Lanka, replacing the Ratmalana Airport. After the completion of airport construction in 1967,  the Colombo Airport started offering a number of domestic and international flights. 

At present, the airport has 3 terminals and a cargo terminal too.  A number of projects have already been signed to make the airport even more equipped. According to expansion projects, the airport will soon have additional runways, check-in counters and security booths and larger passenger withstanding capacity for passenger’s ease. Some of the facilities which can be availed at the Colombo Airport are ATMs, child care area, parking facility, free medical facilities and several more. 

For a complete lowdown, visit our Colombo Airport page

  • Airport Address: Canada Friendship Rd, Katunayake 11450, Sri Lanka
  • Airport code: CMB

2. Anuradhapura Airport

Serving the Northern province of Sri Lanka, the Anuradhapura Airport in Sri Lanka offers a number of regional flights. The airport is located about 7 km away from the quaint city of Anuradhapura. Since the airport also functions as a military airbase, it is also called the Sri Lanka Air Force Base Anuradhapura. The airport has flights to Ratmalana airport, Bandaranaike International Airport, etc. 

  • Airport address: A13, Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka
  • Airport code: ACJ

3. Ratmalana Airport

Another one on the list of airports in Sri Lanka is the Ratmalana Airport. Ratmalana Airport is recognized as not only the first international airport of Sri Lanka but also the only international airport until the Colombo airport came into operation. The first aircraft landed at this airport in 1935 and the Ratmalana Airport also served as the base for the Royal Air Force during the second world war. 

The airport is located about 15 km from Colombo and currently offers only domestic flights. The airport also underwent revamping and got equipped with a control tower, taxiway, VIP lounges and a few more.

  • Airport Address: New Airport Rd, Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia, Sri Lanka
  • Airport code: RML

4. Sigiriya Airport

The Sigiriya Airport is a domestic airport in Sri Lanka. It is located near the Dambulla and was opened in 1942. Initially, like many other airports, it also served as the base for Royal Air Force Base. It later got closed after the war ended, however, it was again reopened in 1985. Tourists can also enjoy a getaway from the Sigiriya Airport by visiting Dambulla Cave Temple, Minneriya National Park, Jathika Namal Uyana and a few more. 

  • Airport address: XP4H+6FG, Sigiriya, Sri Lanka
  • Airport code: GIU 

5. Mattala Rajapaksha International Airport

The Mattala Rajapaksha International Airport is the first greenfield airport in the country. It serves the North-East part of Sri Lanka and offers both international and domestic flights. The airport was built with a motto to reduce the congestion in the Colombo Airport. The then-president Maharaj Rajapaksha inaugurated the airport in 2013. 

Owing to the less demand, this airport was even called “World’s emptiest international airport” by Forbes. However, with several ongoing renovation projects, the Mattala Rajapaksha International Airport now receives a considerable number of passengers. 

  • Airport address: 74RC+HG5, Mattala, Sri Lanka
  • Airport code: HRI

6. Koggala Airport

Last but not the least, the Koggala Airport in Sri Lanka was earlier used as the base for the Royal Air Force. Now, the airport is open for both military and domestic flights. Situated close to the Koggala lake, the Koggala airport was even used by seaplanes. The Koggala Airport is located about 15 km away from Galle in Sri Lanka. 

  • Airport address: X8VC+R6H, Koggala, Sri Lanka
  • Airport code: KCT

Popular IndiGo flights to Colombo in Sri Lanka

India’s largest airline, IndiGo offers flights to Colombo Airport in Sri Lanka. Some of the Indian cities which have flights to Colombo are:

  • Delhi: With no direct flight on the Delhi to Colombo route, passengers can only book connecting flights. The time taken by the connecting flight is 7 hours and 45 minutes to arrive at Colombo.
  • Bengaluru: The direct flight from Bengaluru to Colombo takes a minimum of 1 hour and 30 minutes. Connecting flights are also available on this route.
  • Mumbai: There are a number of connecting IndiGo flights from Mumbai to Colombo and the minimum time taken by the connecting flight is 6 hours and 55 minutes.
  • Chennai: IndiGo has a direct flight on the Chennai to Colombo The time taken to traverse the distance between Chennai and Colombo is 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is the most important airport in Sri Lanka?

Bandaranaike International Airport or the Colombo Airport is the major airport in Sri Lanka.

What is the best time to visit Sri Lanka?

The best time to visit Sri Lanka is during winters - November to March.

What is the currency of Sri Lanka and will I get a currency exchange centre at the Colombo Airport?

Sri Lankan rupee is the currency of Sri Lanka and a currency exchange centre is available at the Colombo Airport.

Can I get a visa on arrival in Sri Lanka?

Yes, a visa on arrival is provided to citizens from prominent cities like India.

Which places can I visit in Sri Lanka?

Some of the popular places to visit in Sri Lanka include the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, Little Adam’s Peak, Galle Fort, Mirissa Beach and a lot more.

How many international airports are there in Sri Lanka?

Sri Lanka has a total of 5 international airports.

1600+ Daily flights
74 Domestic Destinations
26 International Destinations
300 million + happy passengers
278+ Fleet tall