Domestic airports’ project delayed, not dropped: regional airports

Tourism Minister Moosa Zameer (C) pictured signing the agreement awarding development of five domestic airports to Gryphon Energy of Malaysia. PHOTO/TOURISM MINISTRY

Tourism Minister Moosa Zameer (C) pictured signing the agreement awarding development of five domestic airports to Gryphon Energy of Malaysia. PHOTO/TOURISM MINISTRY

Regional Airports on Tuesday assured that the government has not terminated its contract with a Malaysian firm to develop domestic airports across the Maldives, explaining that a delay in acquiring loans is the reason for the lengthening lull in commencing development.

The government awarded the projects to develop five domestic airports in the islands of Kulhudhuffushi in Haa Dhaal atoll, Funadhoo in Shaviyani atoll, Nilandhoo in Faafu atoll, and Maavaarulu and Faresmaathodaa in Gaafu Dhaal atoll to Gryphon Energy Corporation of Malaysia for USD 575.7 million (MVR 889 million) on March 7 this year.

An official of Regional Airports on Tuesday stated that Gryphon Energy has a period of 18 months to finish development of the airports under the agreement. The official also refuted rumours that the government has terminated its contract with Gryphon Energy as “a blatant lie”.

“Commencement of the project is being delayed, but the agreement hasn’t been terminated. They’re looking [for loans] to finance the work.”

Minister of Tourism Moosa Zameer had proclaimed on the day of the signing ceremony that the five airports will be unveiled in October next year as per the agreement.

According to Regional Airports, the government has not given any guarantees to the project contractor yet but plans on doing so once the loans are acquired.

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