Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL) says Velana International Aiport (VIA)’s new runway will be completed during August.
Speaking to VNews on Wednesday, an official of MACL said the new runway was originally scheduled to be finished during August. Therefore the work will be completed as planned, the official said.
The official also said that with the completion of the runway in August, test flights would land at the new runway during September.
According to the official, the work on the new runway hasn’t been completed due to the TMA hanger at the centre of the runway, which has not yet been transferred to another location. However within the next week everything in the hanger will be transferred to the newly built hanger at the new seaplane terminal in the airport, and the remaining work of the new runway can be completed soon, the official said.
Under the airport development project, a new runway, apron, fuel farm, and a cargo terminal is set to be built.
The government says the whole project, which will be carried out in two main phases, will cost USD 800 million. The project has been assigned to China’s Beijing Urban Construction Group.
The most important work of the first phase is the new runway construction. It will be 3,400 m long and 65 m wide, and will accommodate the biggest airplanes in the world.
The airport’s new terminal will be built in the second phase of the project. The work is estimated to cost USD 350 million, the equivalent of MVR 5.3 billion. The project was given to Saudi Arabia’s Bin Laden Group during the end of March in 2016.
While the second phase began this year, the government is working to complete the project during 2018.
President Yameen said the airport is being developed to cater for 70 million people and to withstand service for the next 50 years.