Maldives Airports Limited (MACL) on Saturday announced that all of the development projects undertaken at Velana International Airport will be completed in 2019, with the exception of the new international terminal.
According to MACL’s acting Managing Director Moosa Solih, the construction of the new terminal was delayed due to financial difficulties. Nevertheless, he stated that the financial situation has been sorted out, and therefore the new terminal is now expected be completed in 2022.
“The [new terminal] project was financed by four parties, although minor financial issues within them caused the delay in funding,” said Moosa Solih.
Once completed, VIA's international terminal can cater to seven million passengers. The USD 350 million project was awarded to Saudi Binladin Group. Previously, the new terminal was scheduled to be finished in 2019 along with the rest of the projects.
The development projects to be finished next year included a fire fighting unit, harbour and fuel farm.
The fuel farm consists of three tanks with a total capacity of 60,000 metric tons, thus establishing it as the largest fuel storage facility in the South Asian region. The fuel farm will be connected to different locations of the airport via underground pipes, allowing easier fuelling of airplanes.
Solih, however, said that VIA's new runway can be used although the new terminal has not been completed.
“God Willing, we're hoping that a part of the runway can be opened around March next year,” said Solih.
The mega development and expansion project of Velana International Airport, with a cost of around MVR 1 billion, was initiated by the administration of former President Abdul Yameen Abdul Gayoom. MACL stated that the project will continue according to plan despite the transfer of power following the presidential election in September.