RACL Unveils Runway Expansion Plans for Several Domestic Airports

Photo: RACL

Regional Airports Company Limited (RACL) has announced plans for significant expansions across several domestic airports, with 80% of the runways set to undergo expansion.

According to RACL’s Chairman Ahmed Nasif, who discussed the matter on a SanguTV programme, these expansions will see runways extended between 1,500 and 1,800 meters.

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Nasif highlighted that many of these airports were initially developed to meet minimum requirements, with some runways measuring as short as 800 to 900 meters.

He emphasised the potential economic setbacks should these airports not be expanded within the next 20 to 30 years, particularly in light of the current government’s aviation policy, which mandates the ability to accommodate Dash-8 class carriers as a minimum standard.

Furthermore, Nasif stressed that the viability of airport development extends beyond mere infrastructure, urging for concurrent economic initiatives in surrounding areas. 

He highlighted the necessity of government policies to foster economic growth in conjunction with airport expansion, particularly in infrequently flown regions.

While acknowledging potential challenges in implementing associated policies, Nasif expressed confidence in the government’s responsible utilisation of state funds. 

Despite criticisms surrounding the current administration’s emphasis on domestic airport expansion, Nasif defended the necessity of accessible inter-atoll transportation within 20 to 30 minutes, citing the potential for job creation and tourism development.

President Dr. Muizzu had previously announced plans to establish airports in Sh. Dhiguveli, Sh. Milandhoo, and HA. Dhihdhoo, alongside an international airport project in GA. Vilingili, for which a memorandum of understanding (MoU) has already been signed with the contractor.

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