Minister of Finance Ibrahim Ameer has stated the new international passenger terminal constructed as part of the expansion project of Velana International Airport (VIA) will be concluded in the next 34 months.
Speaking on a programme aired on PSM News, the finance minister said discussions are underway with financing agencies in efforts to complete the project in the given duration. In this regard, he revealed so far discussions have been held with Saudi Development Fund, Kuwait Fund and other aid agencies to complete the construction of the terminal in the next 34 months.
Noting huge development projects must be commenced with prior planning, Minister Ameer noted the previous administration commenced the project without proper planning and funds. He highlighted although construction of the new runway has been completed, it has not been in operation as the construction of the new terminal has not been completed.
As part of the airport expansion project, an international passenger terminal is being developed with 40 gates and 36 immigration counters. The passenger terminal will also be equipped with facilities to directly board the plane via an aerobridge.
Although the existing terminal is equipped to cater 1.5 million passengers per year, the completion of the new terminal will allow the extension of airport services to 7 million passengers annually. Many manual services will be automated when the new terminal comes in to operation, according to Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL).