Maldives main airport breaks runway movement record for second time

Maldives main airport has set a new record on runway movements in a single day for the second time in a month, Maldives Airport Company Limited (MACL) announced Tuesday.

In an announcement, the state-owned airport operator said 239 runway movements took place at Velana International Airport on Sunday. A total of 101 international, 121 domestic and 17 ad-hoc movements were recorded on the day, it added.

The previous record was 226 runway movements on December 1. It was a new record over the 219 runway movements in February.

Velana International Airport has set several new records over the year.

The airport witnessed a record number of flight movements in December 2018, whilst a record 83 private jets were welcomed by the airport in the last week of 2018 as celebrities and travellers from around the world flocked to the island nation for the Christmas and New Year celebrations.

The country’s main water aerodrome at Velana International Airport also handled a record 531 seaplane departures and arrivals in February.

A newly developed runway at the airport was inaugurated in September 2018, but it has yet to be used for flight operations.

Meanwhile, construction of a new international passenger terminal resumed in June.

Designing and construction of the new 80,000 sqft passenger terminal, which is expected to cater to at least seven million passengers per annum, has been contracted to the Saudi Binladin Group. The project is expected to complete in May 2022.

The new terminal, which costs USD 350 million, is part of a USD 800 million mega project to expand and upgrade the main Velana International Airport. The project also involves building the brand new runway 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.

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