President Solih breaks ground of Gan International Airport expansion project

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih seen at the groundbreaking ceremony of Gan International Airport development project. | Photo: GIA

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has inaugurated the development of Gan International Airport.

The project entails development of the terminal with a capacity to cater to 1.5 million passengers per year and would also include shopping, dining, lounge, cargo, ARFF and other facilities.

In addition, the airport will be developed with cold storage, cargo facilities, roads and a parking area, the ministry said. Many other airport development related activities are also planned under the project.

This developmental project is being carried out utilising the USD 800 million line of credit extended by India, which also includes loan assistance via EXIM Bank. Out of this, USD 17 million has been allocated for this project.

The project has been awarded to Renaatus Projects Private Limited of India. The project agreement was signed on March 5 and the company is now mobilised and ready to start the work.

Speaking at the ceremony, Addu International Airport Managing Director Qais Naseer said the dreams of the people of Addu City were being fulfilled and that the dream of having flights from different destinations around the world coming to Addu will become a reality as more tourism beds are being developed.

The government said the project will bring economic and social development to the southern provinces and expand the role of Addu City in the development of the country. 

It is also a promising project to develop Gan International Airport as a hub connecting the southern provinces with the rest of the world, the government said.

Gan International Airport will play an important role in the development of tourism, fisheries and other industries in the southern region, the ministry stated. The project will create thousands of jobs directly and indirectly and contribute to the prosperity of the people of the south.

The airport development project will play an important role in implementing the President’s policies to establish an economic hub in Addu City, the government said.

The government holds 70 percent stake in Addu International Airport company. The remaining 30 percent stake is held by Champa Hussain Afeef’s Kasa Holding Pvt Ltd.

Despite being an international Airport, only two airlines fly to the airport as of now; Maldivian for domestic travel, and Sri Lankan Airlines which flies to the airport twice a week.

Previous development to the airport include the extension of the runway and resurfacing of its existing runway, which is being put to use since 2016.