Hanimaadhoo Airport development agreement signed with India's JMC

JMC Projects Limited of India has signed an agreement with the Maldives government to develop Hanimaadhoo International Airport.

The agreement was signed on behalf of the Maldives government by Managing Director of Regional Airports, Mohammed Rizvi, at a ceremony held Sunday night. JMC's Vice President, KS Reddy, signed the agreement on behalf of the company.

The agreement signing ceremony was attended by Economic Minister Fayyaz Ismail, Planning Minister Mohamed Aslam, Regional Airports officials, the Indian Ambassador to the Maldives, MPs representing Boduthiladhunmathi constituencies, and some members of the HDh. Atoll Council and Hanimaadhoo Council.

The Hanimaadhoo International Airport project is one of the largest investments in the history of the country in an area outside the capital. The Maldives government first announced the decision to award the development of Hanimaadhoo International Airport to JMC on August 10. JMC is already involved in several flat construction and water and sewerage projects in the Maldives. JMC was awarded the contract for $136.6 million -- MVR 2.1 billion.

The Hanimaadhoo International Airport is being redeveloped under an $800 million line of credit scheme provided by Exim Bank of India. Including JMC, four companies had submitted bids for the project when the deadline expired in March this year. Only companies shortlisted by the Exim Bank could bid for the project.

The Hanimaadhoo airport development project will include a 2.46 km runway and a brand new terminal with the capacity to cater to 1.3 million passengers per annum. Other facilities needed to expand international flight services will also be established under the project. The project is scheduled to kick off later this year and will be completed in 2024.

Sunday's ceremony featured a video presentation of the changes that will be brought to the Hanimaadhoo International Airport under the redevelopment project and what the airport would look like when the project is completed.

Changes to Hanimaadhoo Airport

Airside, landside and building infrastructure upgrades
Expansion of the airport runway from 1350 m to 2460 m
Two taxiways 164 meters long, 34 meters wide, and 5.5 meters on either side
10,230 sq m building including land and seaside connectivity and passenger facilities
An apron of approximately 58,000 acres has been designed to be suitable for the operation
Establishment of a passenger terminal suitable for the operations of code aircraft

Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer has said the Hanimaadhoo International Airport development project would revolutionize the economy of Bodu-Thiladhunmathi, as well as the entire country.

Once completed, the airport will be able to serve Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 aircraft for international flights. Direct flights to the Middle East, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and East Africa will be operated to Hanimaadhoo, the Economic Ministry has said.

The development of Hanimaadhoo International Airport is a presidential pledge. The government first tried to develop the airport on a contractor finance basis. However, the government shifted the project to an Indian loan to speed up the work after it failed to find self-financed contractors.