The foundation work of the new passenger terminal being constructed at Velana International Airport (VIA) has been completed.
In a tweet published on Tuesday, Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL) that operates the country's main airport said the first steps on the above ground works have commenced and that 15% of the pile cap has been completed. While column reinforcement has already been completed, 2000 square meters of ground slab has been laid.
The new passenger terminal is developed at the south of the current international terminal over an area of 78,000 square metres.
The project to develop the new passenger terminal - the largest segment of the airport development project - was contracted to Saudi Arabia's Bin Laden Group three years ago on May 21, 2016. Even though the project was to be completed within two years, the company faced some delays in implementing the project. The project was delayed further when the government changed in 2018 that lead the work to be ceased temporarily however, the project was once again assigned to Bin Laden Group on June 27, 2019.
The government is hopeful of completing the project by May 2022.
The new terminal can cater to around seven million people in a year. Bin-Laden Group accepted the project for US$ 350 million. The project is funded by a consortium between the Saudi, Abu Dhabi and Kuwait fund.
A new runway has been developed at the airport in addition to the construction of a new passenger terminal. While a fuel farm has also been established, a cargo terminal is currently being constructed by China's BUCG company under the mega airport development project.