Minister of National Planning, Housing and Infrastructure Mohamed Aslam has revealed that preparations are being made to reclaim land and commence projects to develop three airports across the Maldives.
Noting that four airport development projects are ongoing, Minister Aslam said land will be reclaimed to commence the development of three more airports by the end of the current presidential term. The government plans to develop airports in Makunudhoo in Haa Dhaalu Atoll, Bilehdhoo in Shaviyani Atoll Thulhaadhoo in Baa Atoll, and Vilufushi in Thaa Atoll.
The government’s policy is to allow citizens living in any part of the country to have access to an airport within 30 minutes of travel. As such, airports are currently being developed in Muli in Meemu Atoll and Magoodhoo in Faafu Atoll, and the Maldives Transport and Contracting Company (MTCC) expects the projects to be completed this year. Meanwhile, preparations are being made to open the airport in Faresmaathodaa in Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll, and the airport project in Alifushi in Raa Atoll is ongoing.
Furthermore, Minister Aslam said the government will use the state budget to fund the projects if they cannot be conducted under a contractor finance policy. He also said that the airport projects in Makunudhoo, Thulhaadhoo, Bilehfahi, Vilufusi, Magoodhoo, and Alifushi are expected to cost USD133 million. He added that contractors have been hired to develop six domestic airports.