Maldives Airport To See A New Terminal Soon
Maldives Promotion House – A ground breaking ceremony was recently held at Hulhule’ to mark the beginning of work on the new terminal of Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA).
The ceremony was inaugurated by President Mohamed Nasheed, GMR Chairman G M Rao, and Malaysia Airports Managing Director Sri Bashir Ahmad, and the newly-reclaimed land was showered with flowers via seaplanes from Maldivian Air Taxi and Trans Maldivian Airways. Speaking at the ceremony Rao said that INIA is the entrance into Maldives and that the new airport would be a hub for economic development.
“Since we have come here the love and affection of Maldivians has been of great comfort to us,” Rao said. “As an infrastructure developer GMR is the custodian of the asset it builds, while the asset belongs to the nation and its people. For the last year, we have fulfilled every one of our commitments to the government of the Maldives, and we intend to respect and fulfill every remaining commitment.”
President Nasheed also spoke at the ceremony and said that he was fully committed to the development work of the airport by GMR. He further noted that the airport is the where tourists begin their holiday and that the airport should complement the luxury of the Maldivian beauty.
“Tourists begin their holiday at the airport,” President Nasheed said. “More than one million tourists visited the Maldives this year to spend their holiday on the beach – that beach is what we sell in the Maldives. But many years have passed since this airport was first built, and day by day the need to improve the airport and its services has kept increasing.”
The single largest foreign investment in the history of the Maldives, the USD 500 million project is due to be completed in June 2014. According to the concession agreement between GMR and Maldives the airport will be run by GMR for a period of 25 years, which is extendable to another 10 years. GMR holds a 77 percent stake in the joint venture, with the remaining 23 percent held by Malaysian Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB).