The new passenger terminal at Velana International Airport has commenced on its official works of development.
According to Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL), the operating company of the airport, the work on laying foundation or groundworks for the new passenger terminal has commenced. MACL made the confirmation on 11 September via their Twitter handle.
The loan for the development of the passenger terminal was issued through a consortium made between Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi and Kuwait Funds. However, due to unforeseen circumstances the loan funds were delayed stalling the project.
The passenger terminal project was contracted to Saudi Arabia’s Binladin Group.
Following the new administration under President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, Maldives government entered into discussions with the consortium to extract the funding required for the project. The discussions came to a success as state renewed their agreement with Binladin Group in last July.
Under the new agreement, modifications or changes are made to the initial blueprint of the structure while extension on the project’s completion date was given as well. According to the renewed agreement the project completion date is May 2022.
Estimated to cost USD350 million (MVR5.3 billion) the new passenger terminal will house 40 gates with 36 immigration counters as well as six aero-bridges. A total of 78,000 square meters of area was vacated for the development of the terminal.
Current passenger terminal at VIA houses 1.5 million travelers, but the new passenger terminal will hold the capacity of allowing an approximation of 7 million travelers.
The new passenger terminal development falls into a major development project aimed at the VIA airport as a whole and the entire project is estimated to cost USD800 million (MVR12.3 billion). A new runway was installed which cost a project total of USD373 million (MVR5.7 million), which was also part of the major infrastructural development project.
In addition to this, the project also includes development and construction of a fuel farm and a new seaplane terminal to increase the docking capacity as well as allow more passenger movement.