Maldives main airport to upgrade apron

Maldives main Velana International Airport is soon to get an upgraded apron, as visitor numbers to the world-famous holiday destination rise.

An official from the state-owned airport operator Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL) told local news outlet Avas Online that the apron on the southeastern end of the runway will be expanded to accommodate seven wide-body aircraft at once. The project will begin soon, he added.

However, additional details are still unclear.

MACL had in 2015 carried out a similar project to develop a brand new apron on the northern end of the runway. The apron can accommodate up to 25 private jets, four wide-body aircraft and seven Airbus A320 jets at once.

The announcement comes as several international airlines increased flight frequency to the island nation for the peak tourist season.

December to April is considered the peak tourist season, as these months constitute summers in Maldives. Between December and April, the islands boast of dry weather, making it ideal for tourists to travel and enjoy the tropical environment.

Resorts across the archipelago organise special activities for the festive season, which falls during the peak tourist season. Popular resorts such as Baros MaldivesAmilla Fushi and Finolhu MaldivesSoneva FushiThe St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort and Mirihi Island Resort have already announced their festive programmes for this year.

In addition to the minor improvements, a USD 800 million mega project has been launched to expand and upgrade the main Velana International Airport. The project involves building a brand new runway, an international passenger terminal and a seaplane terminal as well as other support facilities, including a fuel farm that can store 45 million litres and a 120,000 tonne cargo facility.

The airport is a key infrastructure that supports the Maldives multi-billion dollar tourism industry. Expansion of the airport is expected to boost tourist arrivals to the island nation as it aims to attract at least two million tourists by 2020.

Photo: Avas Online

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