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Government delays inauguration of Hoarafushi Airport

18 November 2020, MVT 17:52
The first test flight lands at Haa Alif Atoll’s Hoarafushi Airport. PHOTO: SOCIAL MEDIA
18 November 2020, MVT 17:52

Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation, on Wednesday, announced that the inauguration of the Hoarafushi Airport in Haa Alif Atoll was delayed to Thursday due to unfavourable weather conditions.

Minister of State for Transport Ahmed Zuhair attributed the delay to the challenges in finding a suitable indoor location to host the large-scale inauguration ceremony planned for the occasion.

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih will attend the opening of Hoarafushi Airport, which is the first domestic airport to be developed and inaugurated during the incumbent administration.

According to the state minister, the inauguration ceremony might be delayed further if the weather does not improve. The event was initially slated for Tuesday.

Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation Aishath Nahula has confirmed that scheduled flight operations will begin within a week of the airport’s inauguration.

On Monday, a test flight was successfully landed at Hoarafushi Airport and received a warm welcome from the island's inhabitants.

Worth MVR 198 million, the airport project 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 measuring 720 meters.

A total of 842,000 cubic meters of land was reclaimed from the Hoarafushi lagoon in 2019 to facilitate airport development.

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 rough waters of Gallandhoo Kandu.

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