Colombo Airport (IATA: CMB)

Bandaranaike International Airport (commonly known as Colombo International Airport, Colombo-Bandaranaike and locally as Katunayake Airport) (IATA: CMB, ICAO: VCBI) is the main international airport serving Sri Lanka. It is named after former Prime Minister S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike and is located in a suburb of Negombo, 32.5 kilometres (20+1⁄4 miles) north of the nation's longstanding capital and commercial center, Colombo. It is administered by Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) Ltd and serves as the hub of SriLankan Airlines, the national carrier of Sri Lanka, and domestic carrier Cinnamon Air. The other airport serving the city of Colombo is the Ratmalana International Airport, primarily serving domestic destinations.

Bandaranaike International Airport (airport code CMB) at Katunayake, Sri Lanka, is 32.5 kilometers north of the island nation's capital of Colombo. Thirty seven(37) airlines currently serve the airport's over 10.79 million annual passengers.


The airport has three passenger terminals. Terminal 1 is the current international terminal, built in 1967. Terminal 2 is the new international terminal, which is expected to be completed in 2023. Terminal 3 is the new domestic terminal, which opened in November 2012.

Terminal 1
Opened in 1967 and is the oldest and largest terminal in the airport. It has 12 gates. The arrival and departure areas are separated horizontally. All international flights currently use this terminal, until Terminal 2 opens in 2023. The terminal consists of a main terminal building directly connected to one concourse which houses all the gates.

Terminal 2
It is planned to open in 2023. New terminal building will include 96 check-in counters, eight baggage claim belts, seven baggage make-up carousels, contact boarding gates, passenger boarding bridges, and bus gates.

Terminal 3
Opened in November 2012 and handles all domestic flights. Its arrival and departure areas are separated horizontally.

The Cargo Terminal
Opened in October 2009 and handles all cargo flights. Its arrival and departure areas are separated horizontally.


The Bandaranaike International Airport has a single runway, with an asphalt surface. The take-off and landing distances are 3,441 m and 3,350 m respectively. In addition, Phase II of the BIA expansion project is to have a second runway, also able to accommodate the A380, with another taxiway to the second runway.

Importation of items at Bandaranaike International Airport

Customs: free importation at Bandaranaike International Airport

Importation of liquor and tobacco products: free import only by persons over 18 years of age:
2 bottles of wine and 1/2 litre of spirits
2 ounces of perfume and 1/4 litre of eau de toilette
travel souvenirs not intended for commercial use, up to the value of USD 250 In case of members of a family traveling together, free import is in general allowed only for 2 members. Customs duty and other levies are applicable on all cigarette and tobacco products. Passengers are required to declare upon arrival valuable personal affects to ensure free export. Importation of following items are prohibited at Bandaranaike International Airport

(a) Dangerous drugs or narcotic substances
(b) Pornographic or seditious materials
(c) Materials hostile to religious beliefs

Importation of following items are restricted at Bandaranaike International Airport

(a) Fire arms, ammunition, explosives and weapons.
(b) plants, Fruits, Birds and their products
(c) Pharmaceuticals and medicines, except for personal use.
(d) Goods for commercial or trade purposes
Services to visitors at Bandaranaike International Airport

Banks at Bandaranaike International Airport

Banks/Currency Exchange
Branches of 07 leading banks of Sri Lanka are located in each Departure Lobby and Arrival Lobby areas providing currency exchange facilities. Another bank is located in the transit area for re-exchange.
Automated teller machines are available in arrival lobby area in Departure porch Post Office at Bandaranaike International Airport A Post office is located in the arrival porch.
Communication at Bandaranaike International Airport

Telephone booths can be found in the arrival, departure and transit areas.
Communication Counters are located in the departure lobby area and in the transit lounge with international direct dialing, e-mail and fax facilities.
Mobile phone connections can be obtained from 2 major company outlets located in the arrival lobby.
Passengers with reduced mobility at Bandaranaike International Airport

Lifts, Wheelchairs and disabled toilets are available
Child Care at Bandaranaike International Airport
Rooms are available with all facilities for feeding in the transit area
Medical Centre at Bandaranaike International Airport
located in the arrival baggage area staffed with a doctor and qualified nurses Duty Free Shopping at Bandaranaike International Airport

Several Duty Free Shops are available in the Arrival, Departure and Transit areas. Wine & Spirits, Handicrafts, Silk Items, Jewellery, Perfume , Ceramic items, Readymade garments, Cameras and tea are available.

Baggage at Bandaranaike International Airport

Visitors to Sri Lanka are expected to declare the total amount of currencies, valuable equipment, jewellery and gems in their possession at arrival.
Professional teams are allowed to import filming and photographic equipment on a valid Carnet or a Bank Guarantee or on a refundable deposit of the duty payable on the items.
Lost or Damaged Baggage at Bandaranayke International Airport

In the event of lost baggage at the baggage conveyor belt at the airport, please contact the airport office of the airline immediately.

Emigration All visitors are entitled to
(a) export any of the items imported and declared by them at the arrival
(b) items purchased in Sri Lanka following declaration at the departure
(c) Remainder of the foreign Currencies declared and brought into the country. Sri Lanka currency (LKR) needs to be reconverted to Foreign Currency at departure.

【Text by Lakpura™. Images by Google, copyright(s) reserved by original authors.】

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