Maldives Airports Company Ltd. (MACL) says building the new runway of Velana International Airport without hindering the airport’s operations is a huge challenge.
MACL said while land has been reclaimed to accommodate the new runway, land reclamation was carried out by taking sand from the lagoon area where seaplane operations take place, but the work was carried out without any hindrance to seaplane operations.
The company said rest of the runway construction project is also being carried out without obstructing VIA’s operations.
President Abdulla Yameen inaugurated the new runway project on Monday.
The 65-meter-wide, 3400-meter-long runway is being constructed by taking a USD 373 million loan from Exim Bank of China.
The project is being carried out by China’s Beijing Urban Construction Group (BUCG).
Once the new runway is built, the old one will be converted into a taxiway.
The new runway is part of mega project launched in April 2016 by President Yameen to develop VIA.
Under the project, a new runway, apron, fuel firm and a cargo terminal will be built.
MACL said work on the fuel firm will begin this month, while work on the new terminal will begin in June or July.
The company further said that VIA’s existing apron will be expanded to three times its size.