Land reclamation for the new seaplane terminal to be developed in Velana International Airport (VIA) officially commenced Wednesday.
The project was launched by Minister of Economic Affairs Mohamed Saeed.
The new seaplane terminal is to be developed on the reclaimed lagoon behind the air traffic control tower on the eastern side of the airport island. According to Maldives Airports Company Ltd (MACL), the project will reclaim an area of 18,000 square metres for the new terminal and 14,000 square metres for the seaplane hangar.
Speaking at the ceremony, Minister Saeed declared that VIA’s new seaplane terminal will be the largest in the world, noting that the Maldives also boasts the biggest seaplane operation company.
He stated that the new CIP and VIP terminals of the airport will be completed by the end of this year, while the new seaplane terminal and VIA's new runway are expected to be finished by mid-2018.
The minister proclaimed that the ongoing development projects of the airport will be a great boost to the tourism industry of the Maldives, which is the archipelago’s main economic asset. He vowed that the government will see these projects through according to schedule, which “have instilled great trust in the Maldives by those that have invested and are investing in this country.”
Speaking at the ceremony, MACL’s Managing Director Adil Moosa stated that among the many projects ongoing at the airport, the development of the new seaplane terminal in particular entails a high priority as it is an entirely new set-up.
“This project is a whole new set-up involving reclamation of new land to establish a brand new terminal. The seaplane terminal that will arise by the end of this project will be top notch in its every service,” he said.
He announced that work will soon commence on the development of VIA’s new CIP and VIP terminals as well as VIA’s venture to bring international restaurant and café franchises.
MACL added that the land reclamation for the seaplane terminal, which is awarded to Beijing Urban Construction Group (BUCG) of China, is expected to be completed within a month. BUCG is also the contractor of the project to develop VIA’s new runway.