President Solih finds solution for Hanimaadhoo airport land allocation issue

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih meeting with Hanimaadhoo Council | photo: Mabrook Azeez

HDh. Hanimaadhoo, Maldives – President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on Sunday, met with citizens of HDh. Hanimaadhoo, discussing their concerns regarding the allocation of additional and for airport development.

The spokesperson of the President’s Office Mabrook Azeez stated that the president met with the citizens of Hanimaadhoo. He said that discussions have been made over concerns from the citizens regarding the allocation of additional land for airport development and that a solution had been found.

Speaking at the meeting with President Solih, Councillors highlighted concerns regarding ongoing developmental efforts and discussed pertinent issues relevant to the needs of residents of the island. They stressed the need to initiate the Hanimaadhoo Airport developmental project at the earliest, noting that the airport is crucial to the development of the region.

Delineating the progress gained through government projects over the last few years, the Hanimaadhoo Council discussed further avenues for improvement. They deliberated on several pertinent topics such as the need for better housing, healthcare, road development, transport, utility management, education and social development in Hanimaadhoo Island.

President Solih addressed the concerns raised by the members of Hanimaadhoo Island Council and WDC, affirming that the International Airport development project would be vital to the advancement of the entire Boduthiladhunmathi region’s economy and tourism industry. However, the President said, the council and residents of the island would need to cooperate and provide support for each other if the project is to bear fruit.

President Solih also shared the latest details of the projects being carried out by the government. He said that the government had earmarked a 100-housing unit project on the island to resolve the housing deficit faced by residents, adding that the government plans to include it in the upcoming years’ budget. He further stated that the construction of the 30-bed hospital is now at the pre-bidding phase.

Three local associations from Hanimaadhoo previously requested President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih to prevent taking additional land for the development of the airport as requested by the Planning Ministry.

In their letter to President Solih, the associations wrote that the land already decided for the project is also sufficient enough for the development of a huge airport and that while there is a huge lagoon area, taking more land from the residential areas is something that deeply concerns them. They added that the seashore area, allocated for airport development in the current plans, is an important place for their locals as families go out for swims and other activities in the area which is why they are saddened by that area being given for airport development.

The scope of the project includes redeveloping Hanimaadhoo lnternational Airport which includes major infrastructure and operational development in the airside, landside and building infrastructure to meet the future growth of traffic to the Maldives and maintain lnternational Civil Aviation Organization (“lCAO”) standards.The existing Runway will be extended to 2460 m from the current 1350 m and a total apron of an approximate area of 58,000 Sqm has been designed to cater to operations at the Airport. In addition to this two Taxiways have also been proposed with a length of 164M each and width of 34M including 5.5M wide shoulders on each side.

The proposed Two-Level Passenger Terminal Building of modular design will have all modern facilities and amenities to handle peak hour passenger capacity. It will have an area of 10,230 sqm including land/seaside connectivity and passenger facilitation. The building shall have aesthetically appealing & soothing modern interiors incorporating Maldivian art and heritage.

The Passenger Terminal is designed to handle Code C aircraft operations once complete and the proposed multi-level Jetty Terminal Building leads into Jetties for parking for Sea Planes and Anchorage for Ferries.

The scope also includes other facilities including blast pad, airside periphery r, basic strip and grading area, isolation bay, security fencing and watchtowers, navigational aids, cargo building, fuel farm, fuel jetty, hangar block, ATC tower, desalination plant, sewage treatment plants, ancillary building, crash gates, and, jetties while no reclamation is proposed for Phase I. Hanimaadhoo International Airport would be by far the most expensive airport to be built in a northern atoll of the Maldives. This airport is likely to enhance the businesses of the atolls in the north.