No plan for foreign airport concession agreements: Planning Minister

Minister of National Planning and Infrastructure Mohamed Aslam has said the administration has no plans to lease airports to foreign parties under management agreements.

Speaking in response to a question posed by Parliamentarian Ahmed Haroon when summoned to the parliament, Planning Minister Aslam said Maafaru International Airport is currently managed by Island Aviation Services Limited (IASL) instead of awarding the developer to operate the airport. He said the administration had made a decision to award operations of airports to IASL.

Minister Aslam said concession agreements to operate airports do not benefit Maldives and leasing airport operations to foreign parties is not a recommended decision based on past experiences. He further said leasing airports under management agreements is not policy pursued by the administration.

Highlighting polices change from time to time, the minister said the current stand of the administration may change depending on the requirements of the future. He also said Maafaru is available for domestic flights, although it is registered as an international airport.

Maafaru International Airport was developed under a USD 60 million grant from Abu Dhabi Fund for Development. The administration is working with IASL to further develop the airport.