The ambitious expansion of Hanimaadhoo International Airport’s runway is set to reach a significant milestone by March, according to Ahmed Mubeen, Managing Director of Regional Airports Company Limited. Speaking at the opening ceremony of the first 1200 meters of the new runway, Mubeen expressed confidence in the timely completion of the project, which is progressing as scheduled.
The expansion work at Hanimaadhoo International Airport is being conducted in three phases. The initial phase, involving a 1,200-metre stretch of the runway, was inaugurated recently. This development allows for night landings, ensuring continuous operation and connectivity. The remaining section of the runway will commence development following the demolition of the old runway, paving the way for a fully modernised airport.
Mubeen highlighted the project’s significance for Hanimaadhoo and the surrounding islands, highlighting the potential boost to regional tourism and economy. “With this project, we aim to introduce 9,000 tourism beds to the area,” he said. The project, valued at USD 136.6 million, is one of the largest in the atoll to date.
Further enhancing regional connectivity, Island Aviation Services Limited’s Deputy Managing Director Ali Saleem announced that with the partial commissioning of the new runway, flights to India from Hanimaadhoo International Airport are expected to commence soon. “We are actively working on upgrading our fleet to accommodate larger aircraft, in line with the expanded capabilities of the airport,” Salam added.
Upon completion, the new runway, measuring 2465 meters in length, will accommodate larger aircraft such as the Boeing 737 and A320, significantly increasing the airport’s passenger handling capacity to 1.3 million passengers annually.
The development extends beyond the runway, with 29.1% of the passenger terminal building and jetty terminal building already completed. Additionally, 73.7% of pavement and road works, along with 9% of the fuel farm and fuel jetty works, have been finalised, indicating steady progress across various aspects of the airport’s expansion.