The National Audit Office( NAO) yesterday said that the operating cost of the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport for 2022 was Rs 2.03 billion, which is 26 times higher than its income.

The NAO report released yesterday added that only 11,577 passengers travelled via Mattala airport last year, even though over 1 million passengers are expected at the MRIA annually.

It has been revealed that only 103,324 passengers travelled via MRIA from 2017 to 2022, and the total losses incurred by the MRIA topped Rs 42.81 million during this period.

The government has spent Rs 55.56 billion for the MRIA construction project, and Rs 19 billion of them are foreign loans.