The new International Cargo Terminal at Velana International Airport (VIA) in the Maldives has been inaugurated by President Dr Mohamed Muizzu today, signalling a notable expansion in the country’s air cargo services by 50 per cent. This modern facility is designed to enhance the logistics capabilities of the Maldives.
Constructed to hold up to 12,000 metric tons of cargo, the terminal is designed to cater to the growing demands of the region for the next decade. The development of this terminal, a project undertaken by the Beijing Urban Construction Group (BUCG) from China, represents a mega-investment of USD 373 million (approximately MVR 5.7 billion). This project demonstrates Maldives’ commitment to advancing its infrastructure and strengthening economic ties with international partners.
Initiated during President Yameen’s term, the project experienced several delays. The terminal is now set to open six years after work on it resumed following a period of interruption.
Located strategically near the Hulhule Island Hotel, the terminal not only offers increased capacity compared to its predecessor but is also equipped with modern facilities. These include environmentally friendly features, the installation of four automatic cranes, and the integration of five advanced X-ray machines, all aimed at enhancing operational efficiency and security.
The VIA itself is undergoing significant development. The Saudi Bin Laden Group has been contracted for a new passenger terminal, part of a larger project exceeding USD 800 million (MVR 12.3 billion). Ambitious plans are in place to transform the VIA into a major regional hub by 2025. According to MACL Managing Director Ibrahim Shareef Mohamed.