Maavarulu Airport to open on July 1

Maavarulu Airport. (Photo/MTCC)

Transport and Civil Aviation Ministry, on Thursday, announced the airport developed in G. Dh. Maavarulu will open on July 1.

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

Transport and Civil Aviation Ministry, on Thursday afternoon, issued a statement announcing the airport will reopen on July 1.

The announcement of a date comes after the Minister of State for Transport, Ahmed Zuhair, at a meeting of the Parliament’s National Development and Heritage Committee two weeks back, said that the Maavarulu Airport will open once Maldives reopens its borders to tourists.

While the Tourism Ministry has announced the country will reopen its borders to tourists in July, a specific date has yet to be announced.

The Maavarulu Airport completed test flights on March 11. But the opening of the airport remained stalled with the operator unable to appoint employees due to the coronavirus outbreak.

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

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.