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Land reclamation for new seaplane terminal to begin in Feb

Fathmath Shaahunaz
19 December 2016, MVT 11:00
Aerial view of the current seaplane terminal in INIA. FILE PHOTO/MACL
Fathmath Shaahunaz
19 December 2016, MVT 11:00

Land reclamation for the development of the Maldives’ main airport’s new seaplane terminal is scheduled to commence coming January.

Maldives Airports Company Ltd (MACL)’s Managing Director Adil Moosa told reporters on Sunday that an additional dredger has been procured for the ongoing Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA)’s development and expansion project. The new dredger is to be deployed to reclaim land for the new seaplane terminal.

“We’ve also secured the funds for it,” announced MD Adil after the loan agreement signing between the Maldives government and OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), which had granted a loan of USD 50 million for INIA’s new terminal.

Currently in progress is land reclamation for the development of INIA’s new runway, which MACL stated last week is expected to reach completion by the end of coming February. The sand for this project is being excavated from the lagoon area of the current seaplane terminal.

As the current seaplane terminal will be converted into part of INIA’s new runway, which is scheduled to be finished in 2018, establishing a new seaplane base is progressing with haste. MACL has already finalised the concept design for the new seaplane terminal while the detailed designs are currently underway.

The seaplanes of both Maldives’ national carrier Maldivian and local operator Transmaldivian Airways, which boasts the largest seaplane fleet in the world, are operated from INIA. Maldivian has nine seaplanes in its fleet while Transmaldivian boasts 45, the largest seaplane fleet in the world.

MACL had awarded the development of INIA’s new runway to Beijing Urban Construction Group (BUCG) of China, with UAE’s Gulf Cobla as its subcontractor for the land reclamation.

The USD 373 million (MVR 5.7 billion) project to develop a second runway in INIA aims to establish a new runway measuring 3,400 metres in length and 60 metres in width. The project includes development of a new cargo terminal with a capacity of 120,000 tonnes and a fuel farm with a storage of 45 million litres.

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