Development of the Maldives’ main airport’s new runway will commence next week Monday, announced Maldives Airports Company Ltd (MACL).
MACL’s Managing Director Adil Moosa told Mihaaru on Tuesday that the land reclamation for Velana International Airport (VIA)’s second runway will be completed by the end of this month.
“We’re working to finish development of the runway in the third quarter of the following year. Currently preparations are underway to commence the project,” said MD Adil.
The project to develop VIA’s new runway was awarded to Beijing Urban Construction Group (BUCG) of China. BUCG had appointed United Arab Emirates (UAE)’s dredging firm Gulf Cobla as its subcontractor which commenced land reclamation for the runway last July 25. MACL had earlier estimated that reclamation will add around 30 percent or 62 hectares of land to the airport.
The USD 373 million (MVR 5.7 billion) project, funded by a loan from the Export-Import (EXIM) Bank of China, aims to establish a new runway measuring 3,400 metres in length and 60 metres in width which can accommodate the largest airplanes such as Airbus A380. The project includes development of a new cargo terminal with a capacity of 120,000 tonnes and a fuel farm with a storage of 45 million litres.
VIA’s new runway is part of the government’s USD 800 million (MVR 12.3 billion) project to develop and expand the main airport. The project also features development of a new international terminal.