The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) has assured the Maldives government that the second phase of the Maafaru International Airport development will commence soon.
Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid made the announcement on behalf of the Maldives government following a meeting with ADFD Director General Mohamed Saif Al Suwaidi. Minister Shahid, who is currently in the UAE, said the ADFD had assured him that the practical work of the airport development's second phase would be started soon. He thanked the Abu Dhabi Fund for its support to the Maldives' development projects.
The development of an airport in N. Maafaru was first announced during the administration of former President Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom. Since then, different governments have worked to develop the airport at different levels. The airport's development was officially launched during the administration of former President Abdulla Yameen, after the project was in the planning stage for several years starting from 2007. However, flights landed at the airport, and operations began during the administration of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.
The Maafaru Airport project was funded by the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The facility was built with a $60 million grant from the Abu Dhabi Fund. The airport has been developed to accommodate the world's largest aircraft, the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737, with a 2,200-metre-long and 40-metre-wide runway.