Maldives airport to unveil new VIP terminal

Government on Monday announced plans to open a new VIP terminal at the Velana International Airport during this year.

Speaking at the ceremony held to officiate the start of construction on the new runway, economic minister Mohamed Saeed revealed that the swift development of several other facilities including a new sea plane terminal was in the pipeline. Work on the new food court being built at the airport is nearing completion as well.

"This is being done without any loans, but rather from the income of MACL, with work contracted to various private parties. Since President Yameen took office, MACL alone has contributed MVR1.8 million daily towards the development of the airport. Even though we would face many difficulties, President Yameen knew from the start that the airport had to be developed," said the Minister.

The airport currently houses a duty free area as well as a VIP lounge. The new VIP terminal will be built in the area previously occupied by the Aqua Lounge.

The minister said the work on the new terminal building would also commence this year and would be completed next year according to schedule. After construction of the new international terminal is completed, the current terminal will be renovated and re-purposed as the new domestic terminal.

Saeed stated that the state of affairs was in disarray at the airport when President Yameen assumed office, noting some airlines operating to the Maldives had restricted operations due to issues with the runway.

Saeed said that it was a brave step by President Yameen to launch this effort and build a new runway which would ease the pressure on flights traveling to the Maldives.

"We have made the current runway a real one again. We did that without compromising scheduled flights. This shows the quality of the current government in undertaking projects," Saeed stated.