President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and Indian Minister of External Affairs Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar have inaugurated the Hanimaadhoo International Airport Development Project.
The Hanimaadhoo International Airport Development Project is a significant initiative that is being executed to upgrade the infrastructure and operations of the airport located in the northern region of the Maldives. The project is being funded by a loan from the EXIM Bank of India and is being executed by India-based JMC Projects Limited. The project includes the development of a 2.46km runway to enable larger aircraft such as Airbus A320s and Boeing 737s to land at the airport, which will greatly increase the connectivity of the northern region with the rest of the world.
Furthermore, the project also includes the construction of a modern terminal that can accommodate 1.3 million passengers annually, a cargo terminal, fuel farms, and a fire station. These upgrades will help in meeting the future growth of traffic to the Maldives and provide more convenience to the passengers. The project is expected to be completed in 2024, after which international flights will start operating directly to the north of the Maldives, which will greatly benefit the tourism industry of the region.
The government of Maldives has stated that the completion of this project will result in an increase in tourist arrivals in the northern atolls, which will create more job opportunities and benefit local businesses. The biggest challenge facing the development of tourism in the north of the Maldives is the lack of direct flights to the region carrying tourists from all over the world and the high cost of transportation required to visit the region. With the completion of the Hanimaadhoo International Airport Development Project, this challenge will be addressed, and the expansion of tourism will be greatly facilitated.
The development of the Hanimaadhoo International Airport will also play an important role in implementing the government’s plans to establish a modern maritime hub in the north of the country that will provide services to large cargo ships travelling along the main shipping routes of the world. The project is expected to increase business and employment opportunities in the northern provinces, and it will be a catalyst for the overall development of the region.