Ministry of Finance on Tuesday, announced the public tender for the construction and design of the domestic airport to be developed in Faresmaathoda, Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll.
According to the announcement, the bidding process will conclude on February 12.
Faresmaathodaa Island Council noted the land reclamation for the project, contracted during the former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom's tenure, was completed.
The project's Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) revealed that the airport development would have a significant negative impact on the surrounding habitat.
"The environmental problems associated with this project are numerous with the most significant being irreversible terrestrial and marine impacts"
Approximately 19.8 hectares of land was reclaimed from five uninhabited islands that in the vicinity Faresmaathodaa.
"The development of the airport by joining five islands in an unnatural shape is likely to alter the hydrodynamics and increase the risk of flooding and erosion", said the report.
Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation Aishath Nahula revealed that four new domestic airports would be inaugurated this year. The minister noted that domestic airports located in Hoarafushi, Haa Alifu Atoll, Funadhoo, Shaviyani Atoll, Madivaru, Lhaviyani Atoll and Maavaarulu, Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll would commence operations within the year.
All the aforementioned airports were initially scheduled to open in 2019. The minister attributed the delay to contractors failing to meet deadlines and difficulties in finding trained workers.
Minister Nahula also stated that the decision to expand operations at Hanimaadhoo International Airport was finalised and would commence early 2020.