Managing Director of Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL), Adhil Moosa has commented that the project to develop Velana International Airport will increase passenger convenience a couple of times over.
Speaking during the ceremony held this Monday morning to official launch construction of a new runway in Velana International Airport, MD Adhil Moosa said that foreign visitors touched their feet on Maldives full of serenity, and that conveniences and hospitality available from the airport would be maximized with the project.
Construction of the runway is contracted to Beijing Urban Construction Group (BUCG), while consultancy for the airport development project is assigned to Singapore Changi Airport Group and Surbana Jurong Private Limited.
“It’s of great pride to Maldivians that global leaders in concept consultancy and leading construction hands are being used in the design work on airport development,” said Adhil.
Adhil said the new runway will be able to accommodate A 380 aircrafts.
The runway currently in use will be used during high traffic hours once the new runway is complete.
Adhil said the new runway would symbolize development and independence of Maldives.
The airport was first developed during former Prime Minister Ibrahim Nasir’s administration.
Adhil said that while former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom had developed the airport during his administration, the priority changed from development to business when management of the airport was contracted to Indian company GMR during former President Mohamed Nasheed’s administration.
He said that the airport was one of the major pillars of the Maldivian economy, and that it had been the former President Dr. Mohamed Waheed and a group of political leaders who took back the airport and brought it back under the ownership of Maldivians.
And, said Adhil, it was President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom who saved Maldivians from the MVR 4 billion in debt which lay on the heads of Maldivians as a result.
“The voices of everyone who said there was no escaping the MVR 4 billion in debt to GMR have now been silenced. President Yameen has also confidently answered the questions as to how to obtain USD 1 billion to develop the airport and who would give such an amount to Maldives,” said Adhil.
The USD 400 million runway will be 3,400 meters long and 60 meters wide. USD 373 million of he money is funded through loan assistance from China.