Land reclamation for the airport development project in Horafushi, Haa Alif Atoll, commenced on Tuesday.
Noting that airport construction will begin with the conclusion of land reclamation, Vice President of Hoarafushi Island Council Ibrahim Shakir estimated that the reclamation process will be completed within a period of two months.
Maldives Transport and Contracting Company's (MTCC) dredger 'Mahaa Jarraf' is tasked with reclaiming the lagoon on the southwest side of the island.
Mahaa Jarraf was deployed to Haa Alif Atoll in former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom's administration to reclaim land in Maafinolhu, an uninhabited island sharing the same lagoon as Hoarafushi.
However, the reclamation process did not commence then due to some complications.
After much delay, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih inaugurated the airport development project last March, changing the location of the airport from Maafinolhu to Hoarafushi.
The decision to shift the airport to Hoarafushi was met with heavy criticism from various islands in the atoll, some claiming that Hoarafushi was not the most suitable location for the airport considering Haa Alif's overall development.
Many noted the difficulties passengers would face since the western side of Hoarafushi lacked a harbour, and travellers from other islands would have to take a vehicle to the airport from the east coast.