Maldives Opening Four New Underwater Airports
By Paul Homewood
President Mohamed Waheed opened Kooddoo Airport in Gaafu Alifu Atoll. People of the atoll made a colorful welcome to the first flight with cultural entertainment.
While Louise Gray was wetting her knickers in the Daily Telegraph at the prospect of handing over billions of our money to compensate low lying island states, and our ludicrous Energy Secretary, Ed Davey, talked about helping “people who are losing their countries below the waves”, the Maldives have been busy getting on with life in the real world.
During the past year, they have been busy building four new airports.
- September saw the opening of the new airport at Kooddoo. The airport was developed by Bonvests Holdings Ltd, a leading property development company from Singapore. Bonvests Holdings owns the The Residence Maldives resort and they are currently developing another resort in Dhigurah island, both resorts are just few minutes from Kooddoo airport.
- In the same month, the new airport at Maamagili was completed. Villa Airport Maamigili is equipped with a full aerodrome comprising of a 1,800 meter long runway equipped with industry standard runway lighting system to facilitate landing and take-off in low visibility and at night.
- Construction finished at the new airport at Dharavandhoo in April, and management was passed over to Island Aviation to sort out the finishing touches.
- At the start of the year, the airport at Fuvahmulah began operations.
Of course, all the tourists flying in will want to stay somewhere, so the government there has has identified 14 virgin islands to be leased for resort development. The Minister for Tourism, Ahmed Adeeb,said the government is planning to build five new domestic airports and additional islands are to be leased near the airports. Airport development will be in Haa Alifu Atoll, Funadhoo in Shaviyani Atoll, Maafaru in Noonu Atoll, Kudahuvadhoo in Dhaalu Atoll and Fiyoree in Gaafu Alifu Atoll. Hanimaadhoo Airport in Haa Dhaalu Atoll will be further developed as an international.
In other tourist news :-
- Cheval Blanc, the luxury hospitality brand, has confirmed the opening of its new Maison in the Maldives in 2013. The property will open on the private island of Randheli, in the Noonu Atoll is located about 40 minutes by seaplane from Ibrahim Nasir International Airport in Malé. It will feature 46 luxury villas.
- Sri Lankan Airways are to open a training centre in the Maldives.
- MEGA Maldives Airlines have added a Boeing 767 to their fleet. “This is an important addition to our fleet as we move to significantly grow the company in 2012,” CEO of MEGA Maldives Airlines, George Weinmann said.
- Island Aviation have also added to their fleet, with a DASH-8. Managing director Ahmed Zuhair said “Once more domestic airports are built we will get more passengers.”
- Work started on the new $500 million terminal at the International Airport in Male. 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.
Something tells me that Dopey Davey and Miss Loopy Lou have been taken for a ride!
Maldives Promotion House – According to Villa, the new Villa Airport at Maamigili has been completed, and will begin providing commercial services within 15 days.
Maldives Promotion House – Island Aviation Services Ltd has agreed to manage Dharavandhoo Airport in Baa Atoll developed by Coastline Hotels & Resorts