Prez Solih, EAM Jaishankar Jointly Initiate Airport Expansion Project In North Maldives

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Prez Solih, EAM Jaishankar Jointly Initiate Airport Expansion Project In North Maldives

| Updated: January 19, 2023 12:11

The massive expansion project of Hanimaadhoo International Airport in Maldives was officially inaugurated on Wednesday night. Hanimaadhoo is one of the biggest inhabited islands of Haa Dhaalu Atoll administrative division and geographically part of Thiladhummathi Atoll in the north of the Maldives. 

The project was jointly inaugurated by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and the EAM, S. Jaishankar, who is on a three-day visit to the Maldives and Sri Lanka in a bid to strengthen bilateral engagement with India’s key maritime neighbours.

Speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony, Jaishankar said the initiation of the Hanimaadhoo Project marks a “historic milestone” in the robust India-Maldives development partnership.

The project will see the development of a 2.46-kilometre runway, while the new terminal is being designed to accommodate 1.3 million passengers annually. It has been contracted to the India-based firm JMC Projects, and it is being funded through an MVR 2.1 billion (USD 136 million) loan from the Exim Bank of India.

“The historic project is the largest and most significant infrastructure project initiated outside the Malé region,” a statement from the President’s Office read. A new runway is being designed to accommodate large aircrafts such as the Airbus 320 and Boeing 737.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, President Solih said that the region would see economic prosperity, enhanced tourism, more job opportunities, and “transform the region into an economic hub” with the development of the airport in Haa Dhaalu atoll.

For his part, Jaishankar added: “This project will have a truly transformative impact on the economy of the Northern Maldives. It will help spur entrepreneurship, growth and employment opportunities, encourage tourism development and strengthen allied sectors, including fisheries and logistics which are critical for the balanced growth of this region.” noted Jaishankar. He added that the project is a great example of the vision of decentralization by the Govt of Maldives. “In India too, we lay emphasis on inclusive and equitable development,” he added.

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