70 percent of land reclaimed, runway construction to start by April

Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL) has announced that 70 percent land reclamation for the new runway in Velana International Airport was now complete, and that construction of the runway is expected to begin during the first quarter of this year.

The land reclamation is being carried out by Gulf Cobbler, and the runway will be built by Beijing Urban Construction Group (BUCG).

During a press conference this Tuesday, Managing Director of MACL, Adil Moosa announced that 70 percent of the 62 hectors of land which needs to be reclaimed has been completed.

Adil said that construction of the runway is set to begin during the first quarter of this year.

The new runway will be 3.4 kilometers long and 60 meters wide. It will be built to the east, parallel to the current runway.

Once the new runway is complete, the old runway will be used as a taxiway. But MACL needs to shift the seaplane terminal to another location in order to make the new runway operational.

MACL has announced the seaplane terminal will be re-located to the area near the air traffic control tower. It has assigned BUCG with reclaiming the land needed build the new seaplane terminal on.

Land reclamation and runway construction is estimated to cost USD 400 million.

MACL also plans to build a new international passenger terminal at Velana International Airport with the capacity to serve five million passengers.

The project has been assigned to the Saudi Binladin Group for USD 300 million.

MACL announced that construction of the terminal will begin during the second quarter of this year.

The airport development project is estimated to cost USD 800 million. A USD 100 million loan from Saudi Fund for Development, a USD 50 million loan from Kuwait Fund, a USD 50 million loan from OFID and a USD 370 million loan from Chinese Import-Export Bank has been secured to fund the project.

Maldivian government has announced an additional USD 40 million from Abu Dhabi Fund will be secured this year.

In addition to the loans, MACL has put up MVR 50 million for the project.