With two international companies pulling out of a proposal to build two Airport Hotels at the Bandaranaike International Airport, Cabinet this week granted approval once again to call for Requests for Proposals (RFP) for the project.
In February 2016, the Board of Directors of Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) (AASL) Limited proposed that two Airport Hotels be built to cater to growing passenger demand.
They proposed that AASL land be given to an interested company on a 40 year lease. On May 10, 2016 Cabinet granted approval for the proposal and in October of that year RFPs were published.
Two companies showed interest and applied for the project, they were ECM Libra Financial Group Berhad, Malaysia for the block of land known as 21A and TP Real Estate Holdings Ptd. Ltd, Singapore showed interest in the adjoining block of land, 21B.
The Cabinet Appointed Negotiating Committee (CANC) approved the proposals of these two companies in March 2017 and asked that they be awarded the contracts.
Strangely however, the Cabinet paper on the subject informed Cabinet this week that the two international companies have decided to withdraw from the project and forfeit their bond on it.
This has created the need to call for RFPs once again and this time it was suggested that one be made a four star hotel whilst the other a two star- to cater to a wide range of customers.
The Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation, Nimal Siripala de Silva in his Cabinet paper has also noted that, “The proposed airport hotel have a minimum 2 star category and have a minimum of minimum 100 rooms at the commencement with expansion capability with the following: Business Centre/Conference and Convention Facilities, Sports/ Recreation Facility and Outdoor Restaurant/Shopping Arcade and Banking Facilities, etc…included as options”.