MTCC to develop new domestic airport in Maldives south

Government on Thursday contracted Maldives Transport and Contracting Company (MTCC) to develop a domestic airport in the island of Maavarulu in the southern Gaafu Dhaal atoll.

Tourism minister Moosa Zameer and MTCC CEO Ibrahim Ziyath signed an agreement to hand over the project to the public company.

Ziyath told journalists that the project, which involves developing a 1,200-metre runway, taxiway, apron and a jetty, will be completed within five months. Equipment needed for the project have already been mobilised, he added.

Minister Zameer said domestic airports are also being developed in Kulhudhuffushi in Haa Dhaal atoll, Funadhoo in Shaviyani atoll and Maafaru in Noonu atoll. Government will also develop airports in the island of Fares-Maathoda in Gaafu Dhaal atoll, and in Faau and Lhaviyani atoll, he added.

“These new developments will help expand our tourism industry,” the minister said.

Over a million tourists from across the globe visit the Indian Ocean island nation every year to holiday in one of the 120 resorts and 400 plus guesthouses located in all corners of the country. The multi-billion dollar tourism industry, which is the country’s main economic activity, relies heavily on the domestic transport infrastructure, especially air travel.

Maldives, the most dispersed country on the planet with 1,192 islands spread over roughly 90,000 square kilometres, already has 11 airports, including three international airports. The government has contracted both local and international companies to develop additional domestic airports across the archipelago in a bid to boost tourism.

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