The first test flight landed at Hoarafushi’s newly developed airport in Haa Alif, the northernmost atoll of Maldives, on Monday.
Hoarafushi has geared up in preparation for the airport’s unveiling, scheduled for Tuesday, and extended a warm welcome for the passengers that arrived on the test flight on Monday morning.
The first airport developed in the current administration, which celebrates its two-year mark on November 17, will be inaugurated by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.
Hoarafushi Airport is expected to ease travel for residents of the region, as travelling to the next closest airport in Haa Dhaalu Atoll’s Hanimaadhoo requires an hour-long journey across the often choppy waters of Gallandhoo Kandu.
Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation Aishath Nahula confirmed that scheduled flight operations will begin within a week of the airport’s inauguration.
The airport, worth MVR 198 million, was contracted to Maldives Transport and Contracting Company (MTCC) on March 25, 2019, and completed with the involvement and contribution of the island’s residents in various forms.
The completed airport features a runway of 1,200 meters as well as an apron of 8,635 square meters, including a taxiway.
The airport is also equipped with a parking area of 9,473 square feet, a fire access road of 1,718 square feet and an airport security and beach fence of 720 meters.
In order to develop the airport, 842,000 cubic meters of land was reclaimed from the Hoarafushi lagoon in 2019.