President Mohamed Muizzu Unveils Visionary Transformation for Velana International Airport

PUBLISHED January 06, 2024 | updated January 06, 2024 00:05

In a momentous announcement, President Mohamed Muizzu reveals an ambitious vision for the future of Velana International Airport (VIA), marking a historic chapter in the Maldives' aviation landscape. 

The project inauguration was made in a special ceremony at Dharubaaruge venue in the capital city of Male. The ceremony was attended by Cabinet Ministers, Parliament members, Ambassadors of foreign countries, Company, and Institution heads along with MACL senior staff.  During the ceremony along with President, Economic Minister Mr. Mohamed Saeed and Maldives Airports Company CEO & MD Mr. Ibrahim Shareef Mohamed also gave their speeches on the occasion.

The initial phase of VIA's development is on track for completion, with the opening of a new terminal later this year accommodating 7.3 million passengers. President Muizzu's vision sets a target of 25 million passengers over the next two decades.

The new project includes a new domestic terminal, capable of handling 2000 passengers per hour, a notable increase from its current capacity of 300 per hour. Simultaneously, a dedicated terminal for low-cost carriers with a capacity of 1000 people per hour is planned. Additionally, a seaplane terminal on the nearby island of Furaanafushi is set to be developed, providing space for more operators in the country.

Beyond terminal expansions, facilities to support increased operational capacity are planned. This encompasses the expansion of the fuel farm from 15 million liters to 45 million liters and a subsequent increase to 100 million liters with the newly unveiled plan. Cargo handling capacity is expected to rise from the recently developed 100 thousand metric tonnes to 300,000 metric tonnes by the completion of the next phase.

Furthermore, a Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) facility adhering to EASA standards will be established. The expansion project will introduce various new facilities and services. A significant feature is the creation of a special economic zone for VIA, with Funadhoo Island developed as a transit hub for VIA passengers. Modern airport services, including transit hotels, shopping centers, restaurants, and necessary amenities, will be implemented. The transit hub and seaplane terminal island will be linked to the main airport via a monorail system.

President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu's visionary plan underscores his commitment to propelling the Maldives to new heights and fostering economic development.


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