Maavarulu Airport to be opened as soon as coronavirus situation improves

Test flight lands at Maavarulu airport on March 11, 2020. (Photo/Maldivian)

Transport Ministry, on Wednesday, said the airport under development in G. Dh. Maavarulu will be opened and made operational as soon as the COVID-19 situation in the Maldives changes.

Transport Ministry officials were summoned for a virtual meeting of the Parliament’s National Development and Heritage Committee for questioning regarding the Transport Ministry’s operations amid the coronavirus outbreak on Wednesday night.

In response to a question, Minister of State for Transport, Ahmed Zuhair said the Maavaruli Airport will be opened once Maldives reopens its borders for tourists.

This means the airport could open in July.

Zuhair said the Maavarulu Airport had already completed test flights, but that the appointment of employees to the airport had been stalled due to the coronavirus outbreak.

He said the coronavirus situation had led to a significant drop in flight operations, and that the Transport Ministry therefore planned on reassigning employees from other airports to Maavarulu Airport in order to open the airport and make it operational, if necessary.

According to Zuhair, construction of the airport’s restaurant and passenger jetty remains in progress.

Maavarulu Airport. (Photo/MTCC)

The test flight to Maavarulu Airport had landed on March 11.

Originally scheduled to open on March 20, the opening of the airport has been postponed three times since, due to the coronavirus situation.

Construction of the Maavaru Airport had begun in June 2018. Construction of the airport’s 1.2 kilometer runway, the taxiway, and the passenger jetty was contracted to Maldives Transport and Contracting Company (MTCC).

In addition to the airport in G. Dh. Maavarulu, an airport is also under development in G. Dh. Faresmaathoda, part of the government’s plan to build domestic airports to bridge islands which lay the distance of a speedboat ride of 30 minutes or more.