Madduvari Council: No complaints about Alifushi airport, but Raa Atoll needs an airport in southern side too

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih meets R. Madduvari Council on September 9, 2021. (Photo/President's Office)

R. Maduvvari Council has stated that there is no issue in developing an airport at R. Alifushi – however, stressed that another airport also needs to be developed at R. Fussaru.

Madduvari Council had requested that an airport be developed at Fussari – during a meeting held with President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih yesterday, as part of the President and the First Lady’s recent tour Raa Atoll.

Briefing Sun regarding this meeting, Madduvari Council’s Vice President Ahmed Ashraf noted that they were not against the development of an airport at Alifushi – however, emphasized the importance of an airport existing at the southern side of Raa Atoll.

“The concerns we raised on behalf of Madduvari residents is actually not related to Alifushi airport. Whether or not an airport is developed at Alifushi – a dedicated airport should also exist in the southern side of Raa Atoll for those living in southern islands of the atoll,” he had said.

Speaking further, Ashraf noted that in choosing a location amongst the southern islands to develop an airport – Beriyanfaru is a good one. However, as it is an environmentally protected area – Fussaru is actually the best location.

He further stressed that the development of an airport in the southern side of Raa Atoll is one of the electoral pledges made by President Solih – adding that he must fulfill the promise.

“Whether that airport is built or not – the development of an airport on the southern side of Raa Atoll is an electoral pledge made by the President during his campaign. Henceforth, we had reminded this to the President on behalf of Maduvvari residents during our meeting,” he had said.

Ashraf also noted that most inhabited islands in the atoll are situated on the southern side of Raa Atoll – therefore the establishment of an airport on the southern side will prove beneficial to those living in those islands as well the resorts situated in the area.

Noting that it takes 30 minutes to travel to Ifuru Airport from the resorts situated on the southern side of Raa Atoll – Ashraf added that the travel time would be decreased to 20 minutes if there is an airport on the southern side.

“We were received positively by the President. He did say that the residents living in the southern side should decide on an island for the airport,” he had said.

Fussaru is a reef located north of Maduvvari – which would need to be reclaimed should an airport be developed on it