The Airports Authority of India (AAI) on Wednesday commenced work on the Detailed Project Report (DRP) of Hanimaadhoo International Airport expansion project, considered as one of the largest infrastructure and connectivity projects in the Maldives.
The project is funded by a USD 800 million Line of Credit from EXIM Bank of India, the work on the project is expected to begin in early 2021, following the conclusion of the DRP within two months, preparation of tender documents and selecting the contractor, The Edition reported.
The project includes the upgrade of terminals, fuel farms and fire station, as well as the extension of the runway to 2,200 meters, allowing accommodation of A320s and Boeing 737s.
A high-level delegation from the AAI also visited the Maldives this week and held meetings with Minister of Economic Development Fayyaz Ismail and members of Parliament representing constituencies in the north.
Moreover, the AAI noted that the project will support Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s pledge to create 8,000 tourist beds in the north, by encouraging local and foreign investment in tourism, infrastructure, fisheries and other sectors, according to a report in The Edition.
Besides the airport expansion, six more projects are being undertaken by the USD 800 million Line of Credit, including Addu’s roads and reclamation project, developing Gulhifalhu port, building a cricket stadium and cancer hospital in reclaimed suburb Hulhumale’, expanding Maldives Industrial Fisheries Company (MIFCO)’s facilities and establishing water and sewerage networks on 34 islands.
On Sunday, India has also extended a USD 250 million loan to the Maldives government to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19.
Last month, India had announced a USD 500 million-package to the Maldives for the largest connectivity project in the island nation to connect Male with three neighbouring islands–the Greater Male Connectivity Project (GMCP)The GMCP will connect Male with three neighbouring islands – Villingili, Gulhifahu and Thilafushi (new industrial zone) – by the construction of a bridge-and-causeway link spanning 6.7 km. (ANI).