The Maldives’ President Mohamed Muizzu has inaugurated the transformation project at Velana International Airport (VIA) on the island of Hulhulé.
The initial phase of VIA’s development is on track for completion, with the opening of a new terminal later this year to accommodate 7.3 million passengers. President Muizzu’s vision sets a target of 25 million passengers over the next two decades.
The new domestic terminal, capable of handling 2,000 passengers per hour – a notable increase from its current capacity of 300 per hour – is set to be joined by a dedicated terminal for low-cost carriers with a capacity of 1,000 people per hour.
Additionally, a seaplane terminal on the nearby island of Furanafushi is set to be developed, providing space for more operators in the country.
Beyond terminal expansions, facilities to support increased operational capacity are planned. This encompasses the expansion of the fuel farm from 15,000,000 liters to 45,000,000 liters and a subsequent increase to 100,000,000 liters with the newly unveiled plan.
Cargo handling capacity is expected to rise from the recently developed 100,000 metric tons to 300,000 metric tons by the completion of the next phase.
Furthermore, a maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility adhering to EASA standards will be established. The expansion project will introduce various facilities and services. A significant feature is the creation of a special economic zone for VIA, with Funadhoo Island developed as a transit hub for VIA passengers.
Modern airport services, including transit hotels, shopping centers, restaurants and necessary amenities will be implemented. The transit hub and seaplane terminal island will be linked to the main airport via a monorail system.
The project inauguration was made in a ceremony at the Dharubaaruge event venue in the capital city of Malé. The ceremony was attended by cabinet ministers, parliament members, ambassadors of foreign countries, company and institution heads along with Maldives Airport Company (MACL) senior staff.