It has been decided to close Velana International Airport (VIA) for nine hours from Saturday night onward.
Maldives Airports Company (MACL) that operates the main airport of the Maldives said on Saturday night, effective from Saturday, every night from 2100 hours to 0600 hours, the airport will be closed.
However, even during that time, if a flight has to be landed for a medical purpose or for seeking assistance, it will be allowed as well as unscheduled flights can land during that time. But those flights have to seek approval from MACL three hours before landing.
Even before the decision to close VIA for 9 hours every night, due to COVID-19, international flights have ceased, and the airport was almost deserted.
Since last Friday, Maldives has suspended issuing on-arrival visas and banned tourists’ arrival to the country. Hence, only a few flights land at the airport.
Rarely had the airport closed its runway even for a few hours. Previously it was closed for the construction work of runway only during late night. The airport in which, about 50 flights land in a day, is temporarily closed because few flights land at the airport owing to COVID-19.