Passengers requested to arrive at VIA 3 hours before departure

Velana International Airport. (File Photo/Sun/Fayaz Moosa)

Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL) has requested travelers to attend Velana International Airport (VIA) three hours before the departure time to allow a smooth travel process due to the anticipated traffic congestion.

The largest airport in the country is experiencing a high number of passengers and last month broke the runway movement record in a single day as well. MACL recorded 239 runway movements at VIA on December 3. 

The increased numbers are mostly due to the school holiday period and tourism season coinciding.

The congestion is expected to be eased when the new passenger terminal developed as part of the wider airport development project is completed. The terminal will be able to serve over 3 million passengers per year.

A new runway was also developed as part of this project. It is yet to be operational due to the lack of clearance space. The issue is expected to be resolved when the seaplane terminal at VIA is relocated.