Maafaru airport is expanding its operations with a fuel farm in early 2023, according to Island Aviation.
The airport, which is the second largest airstrip in the country, will be able to commence services of its new fuel farm with capacity to store 400,000 liters of fuel. In addition to the fuel storage, the airport will also have two fuel bowsers to refill flights, with capacity of 35,000 liters and 20,000 liters respectively.
Over 300 jets have landed on Maafaru so far in 2022, and 80 more are booked to land in the festive season by the end of the year. Due to the high demand of jets, Island Aviation hopes that the new facilities will be a great convenience.
According to Mihaaru, Island Aviation’s General Manager Mumthaaz Ali noted that lack of facilities for refuelling was one of the most common complaints received at the airport. He expects the airport’s income to increase with the new facilities, and hopes to expand the fuel farm’s capacity with a airport expansion.
Maafaru’s airport, funded by Abu Dhabi Support for Development by UAE with a grant of USD60 million, features a 2,200 meter runway that can accommodate commercial flights the size of Boeing 737s. The airport also has capacity to park 13 jets simultaneously. The airport has a VIP lounge, and is managed by the Island Aviation, a limited liability company owned by the Maldives government.
The airport caters to luxury brand resorts Soneva Jani, Velaa Private Island, Sun Siyam Irufushi, Robinson Club Maldives, and Noku Maldives.
The airport’s development has had multiple controversies, including destruction of a significant sea turtle nesting site, illegal export of coconut palms, development against recommendations by Environment Protection Agency of the Maldives, and corruption investigations to contractors of the airport by national Anti-Corruption Commission.