Flight movements at Velana International Airport (VIA) will be suspended from 11:00 pm on October 5 to open the airport's new runway.
An official of the Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL), which operates the VIA, said domestic and international flights would be suspended from 11:00 pm onwards. The new runway, as well as the airport's new seaplane terminal, is scheduled to be officially opened on the morning of October 6, Friday.
The new runway was built under a China EXIM bank loan of USD 373 million by China's Beijing Urban Construction Group (BUCG). The runway, which is 3,400 meters in length and 60 meters wide, was opened on September 5, 2018, by former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom. An Etihad A380 was the maiden flight to land at the new runway at a special ceremony held to open the runway. However, scheduled flights did not land at the runway as some work of the runway was still incomplete. It is currently being used as a temporary taxiway. When it is used for its intended purpose, it will reduce the time taken for flights to land and taxiway at the airport.