Maldives kicks off new airport runway construction

President inaugurating the new runway PHOTO: Nishan Ali/Mihaaru

President Yameen (C) inaugurating VIA new runway’s development. PHOTO: Nishan Ali/Mihaaru

President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom on Monday inaugurated the official development of the new runway at Velana International Airport (VIA).

During the ceremony held at the land reclaimed for the project, President Yameen was accompanied by the Managing Director of Maldives Airport’s Company Ltd (MACL) Adil Moosa and the president’s Cabinet Ministers.

The project worth USD 400 million is awarded to one of the biggest construction agencies of China, Beijing Urban Construction Group (BUCG). MACL expects to finish the establishment of the runway, measuring 3,400 meters long and 60 meters wide, next year.

The land reclamation of the new runway began last July. The new runway 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.

The reclamation process will be completed by March which will expand airport island Hulhule’s land area by 30 percent or 62 hectors.

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