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It may surprise you that Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB) in Colombo was ranked as the world’s fourth most punctual airport by aviation analysts OAG. Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB) in Colombo is a hub of Sri Lankan aviation, known for its rich history, modern facilities, and unique architectural design. Whether you’re a business traveler or a tourist, Bandaranaike International Airport is the gateway to Sri Lanka’s cultural and natural wonders. Let’s get into the most interesting facts about Colombo’s Bandaranaike international airport “CMB” together.

Overview About Bandaranaike International Airport

  • Airport Code: (IATA: CMB, ICAO: VCBI)
  • Airport Name: Bandaranaike International Airport
  • Location: Katunayake, Sri Lanka
  • of Terminals: 3 Terminal
  • Distance from City Center: 5 KM

Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB) is the primary international airport in Sri Lanka, located in the town of Katunayake, about 35 kilometers north of Colombo, the country’s capital city. The airport was originally built as a Royal Air Force base during World War II and was converted for civilian use in the 1950s. Today, it serves as a hub for both domestic and international airlines, handling over 10 million passengers annually. Statistics show that CMB is the 50th busiest airport in Asia. Moreover, The airport offers a wide range of services and amenities for travelers, including duty-free shopping, restaurants, lounges, and a dedicated spa and wellness center. In short, Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB) is a hub for Sri Lankan Airlines, serving over 100 destinations worldwide and handling over 11.5 million passengers annually.


Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport


7 Surprising Facts About Bandaranaike International Airport You Didn’t Know

Curious to learn more about Bandaranaike International Airport? From its rich history to its modern facilities and impressive statistics, there are many interesting and surprising facts to discover about this bustling airport. We’ll explore some of the lesser-known facts about Bandaranaike International Airport, giving you a deeper insight into one of the busiest airports in South Asia.


1. History

Bandaranaike International Airport was first opened in 1944 as RAF Negombo, a military airport used by the Royal Air Force during World War II. After the war, the airport was converted for civilian use and renamed Katunayake Airport. In 1972, it was renamed Bandaranaike International Airport in honor of the former Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike.


2. Terminal and Runways

The airport has one terminal building, which is divided into two levels. The upper level is for departures, while the lower level is for arrivals. The airport has two runways, with the main runway being 3,350 meters long and the secondary runway being 3,050 meters long.


3. Airlines and Destinations

Bandaranaike International Airport serves as a hub for Sri Lankan Airlines, the national carrier of Sri Lanka. The airport is also served by many international airlines, including Emirates, Qatar Airways, Turkish Airlines, and Singapore Airlines. The airport offers flights to destinations across Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Australia.


4. Services and Facilities

Bandaranaike International Airport offers a range of services and facilities for passengers, including duty-free shopping, restaurants, and airport lounges. The airport also has a medical center, pharmacy, and prayer room. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the terminal building.


5. Expansion Plans

In recent years, there have been plans to expand Bandaranaike International Airport to meet the growing demand for air travel in Sri Lanka. The expansion plans include the construction of a new terminal building, an additional runway, and new taxiways. These developments will increase the airport’s capacity to handle up to 35 million passengers per year.


6. Fact and Figures

Colombo International Airport is the busiest and largest airport in Sri Lanka. CMB serves over 45 destinations worldwide. The busiest route from Colombo International Airport is to Chennai Airport. The airport serves around six million passengers annually. Approximately 1.2 million are travelers in transit.


7. The Different Names

The official airport name is Bandaranaike International Airport. Named after Sri Lanka’s former prime Minister S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike. But it is often called Colombo International Airport, based on the city it serves. It is also referred to as Colombo-Bandaranaike. While locally it is known as Katunayake Airport. As it is located in Katunayake, a town north of Colombo. The IATA code of Colombo International Airport is CMB.


Your Personalized Airport Concierge at Bandaranaike International Airport

As a leading provider of airport concierge services, airssist offers a range of services at Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB) in Colombo, Sri Lanka. These services include airport Meet and Greet, VIP Terminal and  Airport lounge access, and transportation assistance.

With airssist’s airport meet and greet service, a personal assistant will meet you upon arrival at the airport and guide you through the airport formalities, including immigration and baggage claim. The fast-track service allows you to bypass long lines and expedite the security and immigration process. Also, If you’re looking for a comfortable and relaxing environment to wait for your flight, airssist can arrange airport lounge access, where you can enjoy complimentary food and beverages, Wi-Fi, and other amenities.

Additionally, airssist can assist you with transportation arrangements, including airport transfers and car rentals. Their team of specialists is dedicated to making your travel experience as smooth and stress-free as possible, ensuring that you have a hassle-free journey from start to finish.


In Conclusion,

Bandaranaike International Airport is a modern and efficient airport that offers a range of services and facilities for passengers. With plans for expansion underway, the airport is set to become an even more important hub for air travel in the region.

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