Kaadedhdhoo Airport handed over to Villa Air

From the ceremony to hand over over Kaadhdhoo Airport in GDh. Atoll to Villa Air. (Photo/ Transport Ministry)

The Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation on Tuesday handed over Kaadhdhoo Airport in GDh. Atoll – as ordered by the Supreme Court – to Villa Air.

The handover was done during a special ceremony held at the ministry, where Chairman of Villa group Qasim Ibrahim signed on behalf of Villa.

The Kaadedhdhoo Airport was handed over to Villa Air for development and management for a period of 50 years.

However, in former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom’s tenure, the agreement was terminated in 2017, and the airport was seized from Villa.

Subsequently, Villa Air filed a lawsuit against the state at Civil Court.

The court ruled in favour of Villa in 2018. Both High Court and Supreme Court upheld the Civil Court’s ruling.

After the airport was seized from Villa Air, it has been managed by Regional Airports.

The main jetty of Kaadedhdhoo, which houses the country’s oldest regional airport, collapsed last Friday – obstructing travel in and out of the island. The large section of the jetty collapsed after the sand underneath slid.   

Villa Air’s Managing Director Abdulla Nashid told Sun last Saturday that the company’s top officials conducted an inspection of the condition of the airport late last year, and plan on building a new harbour on the island, once the handover process is completed.