Hanimaadhoo International Airport expansion project inaugurated

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih (R) and the Minister of External Affairs of India, Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar (L) seen at the inauguration of the Hanimaadhoo International Airport expansion project. | Photo: President’s Office

Hanimaadhoo, Maldives – Hanimaadhoo International Airport expansion project has been inaugurated by by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and the Minister of External Affairs of the Republic of India, Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.

Addressing the function, President Solih stated that the region would see economic prosperity by completing the airport expansion project. He added that it would increase tourism facilities, including guesthouses and city hotels, drive job creation in the northern atolls, and transform the region into an economic hub.

Hanimaadhoo International Airport development project has been awarded to JMC PROJECTS (INDIA) Ltd. for USD136,625,386.44.

The project’s tender process was completed and awarded to JMC PROJECTS (INDIA) Ltd on August 10, 2022. The project work was initially set to start in late 2022 and the airport to be operational by 2024 according to Economic Ministry.

The mega project which is funded through the USD 800 million Line of Credit from EXIM Bank of India signed in 2019 will include a terminal with the capacity to cater for 1.3 million passengers per year and will have a 2.46 kilometre new runway. 

The scope of the project includes to redevelop Hanimaadhoo lnternational Airport which includes major infrastructure and operational upgradation 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 components of the Master Planning broadly includes the following components: 

  1. Airside Infrastructure 
  2. Landside / Cityside Infrastructure 
  3. Passenger Terminal Building, Sea Terminal & Ancillary Buildings

The existing Runway will be extended to 2460 m from the current 1350 m and a total apron of 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/sea side 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 aircrafts 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 road, basic strip and grading area, isolation bay, security fencing and watch towers, 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. 

Economic Ministry of Maldives has previously stated that with the development of the airport, Airbus A320 and Boeing 737’s would also be able to land in the new airport. Economic Ministry also added that Hanimaadhoo International Airport would enable operation of direct flights to South Asia, South-East Asia and East African countries. 

Hanimaadhoo International Airport is being developed as a main hub of the northern Maldives. Government had previously stated that with the development of Hanimaadhoo International Airport, additional resorts, city hotels and guest houses would also benefit from the new airport. 

While the Detailed Project Report (DRP) of Haa Dhaalu Atoll’s Hanimaadhoo International Airport expansion project was done by Airports Authority of India, the project is funded through a USD 800 million Line of Credit from EXIM Bank of India. 

AAI had previously stated that the project will support President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s pledge to create 8,000 tourist beds in the north, by encouraging local and foreign investment in tourism, infrastructure, fisheries and other sectors.

India has engaged in 7 major infrastructure projects in the country under $ 800 million Line of Credit–and these include Water and Sewerage network for 34 islands, Addu Roads and Reclamation project, Gulhifalhu Port, (expansion of facilities of Maldives Industrial Fisheries Company, Cricket Stadium in Hulhumale, Hanimaadhoo International Airport expansion and Cancer Hospital in Hulhumale.