History of Ratmalana Airport

Fairway Aviation Academy is located at the historic Ratmalana Airport. It has the distinction of being the first aerodrome to be built on the island to serve both local and domestic flights.

Ratmalana airport can trace its roots back to its inception in 1934 when it opened as Sri Lankas first aerodrome.

During the years of the Second World War, the aerodrome became a crucial base for British and colonial forces leading the fight against the Japanese in the Asian theatre. The airport was home to Hawker Hurricanes of the RAF. In this time Quantas flew civilian flights from Perth Western Australia to Ratmalana ferrying passengers, troops and supplies. At the time this was the longest non stop route in the world.

In postwar years, Ratmalana Airport settled into a hub for commercial airline services becoming the base for Air Ceylon and welcoming flights from KLM and Canadian Air who used the airport as a transit hub.

In 1964, as the number of flights and destinations increased, Ratmalana Airports capacity reached its peak. It was decided to build a new airport to accommodate the ever growing commercial market. This left Ratmalana to cater solely to the slowly growing domestic shuttle and charter flight services.

In 2012 it was agreed to open Ratmalana up again for small international commercial flights. As of August 2012 Ratmalana is open for commercial jet operations.