MACL: New runway at VIA to be in use by next quarter

Test flights being conducted on the new runway of Velana International Airport. The new runway is expected to be in use in the second quarter of 2020. (Photo/President's Office)

The new runway developed as part of the massive airport development project at Velana International Airport will be in use by the next quarter, according to Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL).

MACL’s Associate General Manager Hassan Areef stated to “Sun” that the plan was to utilize the new runway in the second quarter of 2020.

Test flights were conducted on the new runway after its completion in 2018. The runway was developed by the Beijing Urban Construction Group (BUCG) and will be able to accommodate Airbus A380s. However, the runway can only be used once the seaplane terminals in the area are relocated and clearance is attained.

Hassan stated that the new seaplane terminal would be utilized in the next quarter and operations would be then relocated to the new terminal.

“Work has already begun on relocating the MNDF stations in the area. The TMA area also needs to be cleared,” said Areef.

The current runway will be used as a taxiway once the new one is in use. The new runway is expected to resolve the traffic issues faced by the Velana International Airport and will increase the number of airlines that operate to the airport.