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Coordinates: 7°10′N79°52′E / 7.167°N 79.867°E / 7.167; 79.867 Coordinates: 7°10′N79°52′E / 7.167°N 79.867°E / 7.167; 79.867
Province Western Province
  Total61,228 [1]
Time zone UTC+05:30 (SLST)

Katunayake (Sinhala : කටුනායක, Tamil : கட்டுநாயக்க), is a suburb of Negombo city in Western Province, Sri Lanka. It is the site of Bandaranaike International Airport or Colombo Airport, the primary international air gateway to Sri Lanka. With the change of government in 1977 and the introduction of the open economy policy a large area was allocated to create a free trade zone (currently known as the Export Promotion Zone).


Government and infrastructure

Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka has its head office in Katunayake. [2]

SriLankan Airlines is headquartered on the grounds of the airport in Katunayake. [3]


In 1977 the country's United National Party government introduced an open-economy policy, which led to the creation in 1978 of the country's first Free-trade zone (FTZ), currently known as an Export Processing Zone, in Katunayake. Located approximately 29 km (18 mi) northeast of Colombo, adjacent to the Bandaranaike International Airport, the Katunayake KTZ covers 190 ha (470 acres) and is the largest of the country's eight FTZs. It is governed by the Sri Lankan Board of Investment. In order to attract foreign investment the government provides a number of incentives, including duty-free import and exports, preferential tax, double taxation relief and up to 100% foreign ownership. The Katunayake FTZ houses over one hundred multinational industries, predominantly in the garment and clothing industry. From its inception the FTZ the workforce was predominantly young female migrants from rural villages, mainly from economically and socially marginalised groups.

On 30 May 2011 the police attacked workers at the Katunayake FTZ, protesting against a proposed new pension plan, resulting in the death of one of the protesters and over 200 injuries. [4] The police actions led to the Inspector General of Police, Mahinda Balasuriya, resigning his position. [5]


Bandaranaike International Airport at Katunayake Bandaranaike International Airport.JPG
Bandaranaike International Airport at Katunayake

Katunayake is the site of the primary airport in the country, Bandaranaike International Airport.

It is served by Sri Lanka Railways' Puttalam Line, with stations at Katunayake, Katunayake South, and the airport.

Negombo is the northern end of the Colombo-Katunayake Expressway which connects the city of Colombo and A1 highway at Peliyagoda. [6] Katunayake is currently served by the A3 highway from Colombo to Negombo.

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Transport in Sri Lanka is based on its road network, which is centred on the country's commercial capital Colombo. A rail network handles a portion of Sri Lanka's transport needs. There are navigable waterways, harbours and three international airports: in Katunayake, 35 kilometres (22 mi) north of Colombo, in Hambantota, and in Jaffna.

Sky Cabs (Pvt.) Ltd. was a cargo airline from Sri Lanka, which was headquartered at Bandaranaike International Airport, Colombo and had approximately 50 employees.

Bandaranaike International Airport Largest airport serving Colombo, Sri Lanka; located in Katunayake

Bandaranaike International Airport 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 north of the nation's longstanding capital and commercial center, Colombo. It is administered by Airport and Aviation Services 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.

Ratmalana Airport Airport in Sri Lanka

Ratmalana International Airport, is a primarily domestic airport serving the city of Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka. It was the country's first international airport and was the only international airport in Sri Lanka until the inauguration of Bandaranaike International Airport, Katunayake in 1967. The airport currently serves several domestic services and is home to several aviation training organisations. A relaxation of rules has recently seen the airport open for international corporate jet operations and charter flights. The airport is located 15 km south of the Colombo City.

Negombo City in Western Province, Sri Lanka

Negombo is a major city in Sri Lanka, situated on the west coast and at the mouth of the Negombo Lagoon, in Western Province, 38 km from Colombo via Colombo - Katunayake Expressway.

An airport expressway is an expressway connecting to the airport as a road for vehicles going to the airport.

The Bandaranaike Airport attack was an assault by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) on Bandaranaike International Airport, on July 24, 2001. The attack was one of the boldest the LTTE mounted during its war with the Sri Lankan government, and had a profound impact on the country's military, economy, and airline industry.

Mirigama Place in Sri Lanka

Mirigama is a town in Gampaha District, Sri Lanka. It is located 57 km (35 mi) from Colombo, and 34 km (21 mi) from Negombo.

Ja-Ela Suburb in Gampaha District, Western Province, Sri Lanka

Ja-Ela is a suburb of Colombo, located approximately 20 km (12 mi) north of the Colombo city centre. Ja-Ela lies on the A3 road which overlaps with the Colombo – Katunayake Expressway at the Ja-Ela Interchange.

Seeduwa Suburb in Gampaha, Western Province, Sri Lanka

Seeduwa is a suburb of Negombo city, in Katana Divisional Secretariat, Western Province of Sri Lanka. It is located on the A03 road between Colombo and Negombo.

Minuwangoda Town in Western Province, Sri Lanka

Minuwangoda is a town in Gampaha district, governed by an Urban Council, situated near Negombo, Western Province of Sri Lanka. It is located 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) east of Negombo and 35 kilometres (22 mi) north east of Colombo. It is an important junction town, connecting the Negombo to Kandy road with the A1/A6 main road from Colombo to Kurunegala. The main bus route 5 from Colombo to Kurunegala passes through the town. The town is also situated near the Bandaranaike International Airport, on the way to Negombo.

Mabola, Sri Lanka Urban Council in Western Province, Sri Lanka

Mabola or Mabole is a town and Urban Council in Gampaha District in the Western Province of Sri Lanka. With Wattala it forms Wattala–Mabola urban council. It is located in Negombo road and it is the route for travel to Bandaranaike International Airport. The newly constructed, Sri Lanka's second E Class highway, Colombo - Katunayake Expressway E03 crosses to the seaside through Mabola.

Liyanagemulla is a village situated in Gampaha District, Western Province, Sri Lanka lying near the west coast to the south of the city of Negombo and is administered by the katunayake seeduwa urban council. It is located 30 km from Colombo, and 12 km from Negombo. It is on the Katunayake-Colombo road (A03) and is located a few miles from the Bandaranaike International Airport and Katunayake Export Processing Zone.

Martinair Flight 138

Martinair Flight 138 was a chartered flight from Surabaya, Indonesia, to Colombo, Sri Lanka. The aircraft was operated on behalf of Garuda Indonesia. On 4 December 1974, the aircraft, a McDonnell Douglas DC-8-55CF, crashed into a mountain shortly before landing, killing all 191 people aboard – 182 Indonesian hajj pilgrims bound for Mecca, and 9 crew members.

Institute of Engineering Technology, Sri Lanka

The Institute of Engineering Technology (IET) is a diploma-awarding institute in Katunayake, Sri Lanka, specializing in the field of engineering. IET awards the National Diploma in Engineering Sciences (NDES), and was established as the Technician Training Institute (TTI) in 1985 to educate and train mid-level engineers in various engineering-based and allied fields.

The 2011 Sri Lanka worker protests were a series of violent and non-violent protests involving workers from the Free Trade Zones (FTZ) of Sri Lanka against the government. Approximately 250,000 workers took part in the protest against the Sri Lankan government's Private Sector Pension Bill (PSBP) which lasted two weeks, from 24 May – 6 June 2011. The pension bill was effectively cutting wages and limiting employee benefits, which had a negative effect on the FTZ workers and prompted the mass protest. The protests were the largest that the FTZ had seen since its establishment in 1978.

Cinnamon Air

Saffron Aviation, DBA Cinnamon Air is a Sri Lankan domestic airline, operating from a dedicated terminal at the Bandaranaike International Airport, Colombo to destinations around Sri Lanka. It commenced its daily scheduled operation in July 2013. Cinnamon Air’s fleet consists of two Cessna 208 Amphibian aircraft and one wheeled Cessna 208B Grand Caravan that gives Cinnamon Air the flexibility to operate from any of the domestic and international airports as well as from waterdromes in Sri Lanka. Saffron Aviation (Pvt) Ltd. which manages Cinnamon Air is a joint venture between John Keells Holdings PLC (JKH), MMBL Leisure Holdings (Pvt) Ltd., and Phoenix Ventures Limited. The company slogan is Wings of Sri Lanka.

E03 expressway (Sri Lanka)

Colombo - Katunayake Expressway E03  is Sri Lanka's second E Class highway. The 25.8-kilometre-long (16.0 mi) highway links the Sri Lankan capital Colombo with Bandaranaike International Airport, Katunayake and Negombo. Construction on the highway began in October 2009, and it was opened on 27 October 2013, by former president Mahinda Rajapaksa. The highway has three lanes each way from Colombo to Peliyagoda, and two lanes each way from Peliyagoda to Katunayake, with the width ranging from 26 to 33.5 metres.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka (CAASL) oversees the government approval and regulation of civil aviation matters for the nation of Sri Lanka. Its head office is in Katunayake as of 1 February 2018.

Sri Lanka currently has over 277 kilometres (172 mi) of designated expressways serving the southern part of the country. The first stage of the E01 Expressway which opened in 2011 was Sri Lanka's first expressway spanning a distance of 95.3 kilometres (59.2 mi). The second stage of the Southern Expressway opened in 2014 and extends to Matara. The E03 Expressway opened in 2013 and connects Sri Lanka's largest city Colombo with the Bandaranaike International Airport covering a distance of 25.8 kilometres (16.0 mi). The newest expressway is the Outer-circular Expressway from Kaduwela to Kottawa to the E01 southern expressway. All E-Grade highways in Sri Lanka are access-controlled, toll roads with speeds limits in the range of 80–110 kilometres per hour (50–68 mph). Pedestrians, bicycles, motorcycles, three wheelers and tractors are not permitted to enter the expressways. The network is to be expanded to 350 kilometres (220 mi) by 2019.


  1. http://www.citypopulation.de/SriLanka-Cities.html?cityid=1585
  2. "CAASL's new address is 152-1, Minuwangoda Road, Katunayake." Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka. Retrieved on 16 April 2018. "No.152/1, Opposite Radar Hill, Minuwangoda Road, Katunayake"
  3. "SriLankan Airlines - Contact Us / SriLankan Airlines Offices Archived 2009-09-18 at the Wayback Machine ." SriLankan Airlines. Retrieved on 29 September 2009.
  4. Ramanayak, Wasantha (11 March 2012). "Police brutality mindless, indiscriminate and excessive: Petitioners". The Sunday Times . Retrieved 23 August 2019.
  5. Berenger, Leon (5 June 2011). "Fear and fury: Aftermath of FTZ worker's killing". The Sunday Times . Retrieved 23 August 2019.
  6. "Colombo - Katunayake Expressway". Road Development Authority. Archived from the original on 21 January 2012. Retrieved 29 January 2012.