Pres launches mega project to boost VIA’s capacity to 25 million passengers

President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu launches VIA development project on January 4, 2024. (Photo/President's Office)

President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu launched a mega project to develop the Velana International Airport (VIA) on Thursday, in order to boost the Maldives national airport’s capacity to 25 million passengers per annum.

The multimillion-dollar project – the biggest such project at the VIA – will be carried out over the course of 20 years.

The project involves the expansion of VIA’s services, the expansion of seaplane services, and the development of the international and domestic passenger terminals.

The design for the cargo terminal at VIA.

Under the project:

  • The seaplane terminal will be relocated to another island, which will be linked to the airport via a monorail system
  • The seaplane terminal in VIA will be reclaimed, and aprons built there to boost airplane parking capacity to 72 planes
  • A new domestic terminal will be developed, with the capacity to handle 2,000 passengers per hour
  • A new jet terminal will be developed
  • The fuel storage tanks in neighboring Funadhoo will be relocated to another location, and modern financial centers, conventions centers and hotels built in the island
  • The capacity of the VIA’s cargo terminal will be increased to 300,000 metric tons
  • The capacity at the fuel farm will be increased to 100 million liters – which is a 150 percent increase from the current capacity

Speaking at the launch, President Muizzu said he hopes to see a lot of the work on the project completed in the next five years, and the bulk of the entire project done in 10 years.

The design for Funadhoo.

Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL)’s managing director Ibrahim Shareef Mohamed said the company has already created a taskforce and is working on expediting the project.

He said that ones the ongoing projects in the airport is complete, it will create 1,000 new jobs.

“I believe it crucial to develop Maldives’ aviation industry in order to boost this country’s economy. And this can only be done by people with the capability to make long-term plans,” he said.

Shareef said the project will revolutionize the country’s economy.