The Jewel of the Indian Ocean: Discovering the Intriguing Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport

When it comes to traveling, airports are often seen as just a means to an end – a starting point or a final destination. However, there are some airports that are more than just a place to catch a flight. One such airport is the Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport, located in Sri Lanka.

Also known as the Colombo International Airport, this airport is the main gateway into the island nation of Sri Lanka Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport. Serving as a hub for several major operating airlines including SriLankan Airlines, Emirates, and Qatar Airways, this airport connects the island to numerous destinations across the world.

But what makes the Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport truly stand out? In this article, we will delve into the history, layout, and unique features of this airport, and discover why it is considered the jewel of the Indian Ocean.

A Brief History

The Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport, or CMB for short, has a rich and intriguing history that dates back to 1944. It was originally built as a military airbase by the British Royal Air Force during World War II. However, in 1964, the government of Sri Lanka took over the airbase and converted it into a civilian airport.

The airport was initially named the Katunayake Airport, after the area in which it is located. But in 1972, it was renamed in honor of the former Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, S. W. R Cajamarca Airport. D. Bandaranaike, who was assassinated in 1959. This decision was made to pay tribute to his contributions towards the country's economy and development during his tenure.

Since then, the airport has undergone several expansions and upgrades to accommodate the growing number of passengers and cargo traffic. Today, the Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport spans over an impressive 2,000 hectares and has a single runway that measures 3,350 meters in length.

Location and Accessibility

Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport is conveniently located just 35 kilometers north of the capital city, Colombo. Its address, Canada Friendship Rd in Katunayake, represents the strong bonds and connections between Canada and Sri Lanka.

The airport is easily accessible by various modes of transportation, including taxis, buses, and trains. It also has ample parking facilities for those who prefer to drive themselves to the airport. In addition, there are numerous hotels and accommodation options in the vicinity for travelers looking for a place to stay before or after their flight.

Terminals and Facilities

Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport has one main terminal building that houses both the arrival and departure areas. The terminal has a modern and sleek design that reflects the country's vibrant culture and heritage. It has been designed to cater to the growing number of passengers and provide a comfortable and convenient experience for travelers.

As you enter the terminal, you will be greeted with a spacious and airy check-in area that is equipped with self-service kiosks, automated baggage drop-off counters, and traditional check-in counters. There are also various duty-free shops and restaurants spread throughout the terminal, offering a range of local and international brands and cuisines.

In addition to this, the airport has two cargo terminals that handle both domestic and international cargo traffic. These state-of-the-art facilities have been designed to handle a wide range of cargo, including perishable items, hazardous goods, and live animals.

For travelers with a layover or waiting for a flight, the airport offers a variety of lounges that provide comfortable seating, free Wi-Fi, and other amenities. There are also ATMs, currency exchange counters, and prayer rooms available for the convenience of passengers.

The Green Airport

One of the standout features of the Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport is its commitment to sustainability and being eco-friendly. It has implemented numerous initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint and promote environmental conservation.

The airport has a rainwater harvesting system in place, which collects rainwater and utilizes it for various purposes such as watering the airport's gardens and toilet facilities. In addition, it has also installed solar panels to generate electricity and reduce its dependency on traditional sources of energy. These efforts have earned the airport the title of "Green Airport" in Sri Lanka.

The Future Looks Bright

The Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport has a bright future ahead, with several ongoing projects and plans in the pipeline. The airport has recently begun construction on a new passenger terminal that will be able to handle up to 15 million passengers per year. This upgrade is expected to attract more airlines and increase the airport's capacity, making it a major hub in the region.

In addition, plans are also underway to expand the airport's cargo facilities to keep up with the growing demand for air cargo transportation. These developments showcase the airport's commitment to continually improve and cater to the needs of passengers and the aviation industry.

Explore Sri Lanka Before You Board Your Flight

While the Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport is undoubtedly a remarkable and convenient airport to travel through, there is much more to explore within the beautiful country of Sri Lanka itself. From breathtaking landscapes to ancient ruins and vibrant cities, Sri Lanka has something for everyone.

Some must-visit destinations include the ancient city of Sigiriya, known for its towering rock fortress and stunning frescoes. The coastal town of Galle has a well-preserved Dutch colonial fort and offers a glimpse into the country's colonial past. And for those looking for a serene and peaceful getaway, the hill station of Ella offers stunning views and numerous hiking trails amidst lush greenery.

Final Thoughts

Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport is more than just a gateway into Sri Lanka. It is a testament to the country's rich history, vibrant culture, and commitment to progress and sustainability. With its modern facilities, convenient location, and plans for future development, this airport truly lives up to its reputation as the jewel of the Indian Ocean.

So the next time you plan a trip to Sri Lanka, remember to take some time to admire the unique features and fascinating history of the Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport as you pass through its doors.

Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport

Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport

Airport Details Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport - Name Airport: Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport

  • Category: Airports C
  • Name Airport: Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport
  • IATA Code: CMB
  • ICAO Code: VCBI
  • Country: Sri Lanka
  • Address: Canada Friendship Rd, Katunayake
  • Type: International
  • Established Year: 1944
  • Area Size: 2,000 hectares
  • Owner Operator: Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) Limited
  • Passenger Terminals: 1
  • Cargo Terminals: 2
  • Major Operating Airlines: SriLankan Airlines, Emirates, Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways
  • Runways: 1
  • Longest Runway: 3,350 meters
  • Shortest Runway: 3,350 meters



  • Passenger Gates: 44
  • Cargo Gates: 12
  • Operating Airlines: 60
  • Daily Flights: 200
  • Annual Passenger Capacity: 10 million
  • Number of Employees: 2,500
  • Official Contact Number: +94 11 225 2861
  • VIP Lounge: Available
  • Parking Facilities: Available
  • Distance from City Center: 32 km
  • Distance from Nearest Business Hub: 45 km
  • Restaurants and Cafes: 15
  • Duty Free Shops: 30
  • Car Rental Facilities: Available
  • Taxi Services: Available

The Jewel of the Indian Ocean: Discovering the Intriguing Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport

Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport

Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport: Connecting Sri Lanka to the World

Sri Lanka, a tropical island nation nestled in the Indian Ocean, is world-renowned for its stunning beaches, ancient ruins, and vibrant culture. And if you're planning a trip to this beautiful country, chances are you will be landing at the Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB).

This bustling airport, located in the capital city of Colombo, serves as the main gateway for travelers entering and leaving Sri Lanka. It is the country's largest and busiest airport, handling millions of passengers and tonnes of cargo every year OpenedHost.Com. In this article, we'll take a closer look at this thriving airport and the unique features that make it stand out from the rest.

A Gateway to the World

Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport, also known as Katunayake Airport, was named after the country's first female prime minister, Sirimavo Bandaranaike. It started operations in 1967 with a single runway and a modest terminal building. However, over the years, the airport has undergone several expansions and upgrades, making it a world-class facility.

Today, CMB boasts 44 passenger gates and 12 cargo gates, serving over 60 operating airlines. With an impressive daily flight count of 200, the airport operates flights to and from major cities in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Australia. This makes it a crucial transportation hub, connecting Sri Lanka to the rest of the world.

Unparalleled Capacity

One of the most remarkable features of CMB is its annual passenger capacity, which stands at an impressive 10 million. This means that the airport is well-equipped to handle a significant number of travelers, ensuring a smooth and efficient process for all those passing through its doors Campo Grande International Airport.

This is especially significant considering the recent surge in tourism in Sri Lanka. The country welcomed over 2 million tourists in 2019, and this number is expected to grow even more in the coming years. With its high capacity, CMB is well-prepared to handle this influx of travelers and provide them with a positive first impression of Sri Lanka.

A Team of Dedicated Professionals

Behind the smooth operation of CMB are the 2,500 employees who work tirelessly to ensure that everything runs seamlessly. These individuals are the backbone of the airport, working in various departments, including security, immigration, customs, and ground handling.

Their commitment and dedication are reflected in the airport's efficiency and overall guest experience. From welcoming passengers with a warm smile at the immigration counters to providing assistance and guidance to those in need, the CMB team is known for its professionalism and customer-centric approach.

Convenient Facilities

In addition to its high capacity and efficient operation, CMB is also renowned for its range of convenient facilities. For those arriving or departing, the airport offers a VIP lounge, where guests can relax in comfort while waiting for their flight.

Additionally, CMB has ample parking facilities for those arriving by car and provides easy access to taxi and car rental services. This makes it convenient for travelers to explore the city or continue their journey to other parts of Sri Lanka.

The airport is also home to 15 restaurants and cafes, serving a variety of local and international cuisine. And for those who want to do some last-minute shopping, CMB has 30 duty-free shops offering a wide range of products, from souvenirs to luxury items.

Strategic Location

CMB is situated just 32 kilometers away from the bustling city center of Colombo, making it easily accessible for travelers. It takes approximately 30 minutes to reach the airport via the Katunayake Expressway, one of Sri Lanka's major highways.

Furthermore, CMB is also located just 45 kilometers from the nearest business hub, the Colombo Port City. This makes it an excellent choice for business travelers, as it offers easy access to major commercial areas.

A Commitment to Sustainability

In recent years, there has been a growing emphasis on sustainability and eco-friendly practices in the aviation industry. And CMB has been at the forefront of this movement, implementing various initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint and promote environmental conservation.

One such initiative is the airport's 5 MW solar power plant, which provides clean energy to the terminal building. This not only reduces the airport's reliance on traditional energy sources but also contributes to a cleaner and greener environment.

Excellent Customer Service

Last but not least, one of the most unique features of CMB is its dedication to providing excellent customer service. The airport has won multiple awards for its service, including the 'Best Airport in South Asia' award in 2019 by Skytrax.

From the moment travelers step foot into the airport, they are greeted with a warm, hospitable environment, and this culture of exceptional service continues throughout their journey. This has earned CMB a reputation as one of the most customer-friendly airports in the world.

A World-Class Airport

In conclusion, Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport is much more than just a transportation hub. It is a world-class facility that embodies the warmth and hospitality of the Sri Lankan people. With its excellent infrastructure, convenient facilities, and dedicated team, CMB offers a seamless and enjoyable travel experience to all its guests.

So the next time you plan a trip to Sri Lanka, make sure you fly into CMB and experience everything this exceptional airport has to offer. From the bustling atmosphere to the friendly staff, you'll be sure to start your journey on the right foot at Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport.

Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport

The Jewel of the Indian Ocean: Discovering the Intriguing Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport

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