The world’s largest commercial aircraft the Airbus A380 landed at Velana International Airport in 2018 to mark the opening of the new runway.
Four years on no other aircraft was able to land on the new runway as it never became operational.
Terminal buildings of Trans Maldivian Airways within close proximity of the new runway prevented its use and the runway remained closed until the completion of the new seaplane terminal and the complete change over of seaplane operations to the new terminal.
As Velana Airport does not feature a separate taxiway, all larger aircraft landing and departing are required to backtrack the full runway before exiting the terminal which causes massive traffic congestion requiring aircraft at times to hold for long periods, especially during the season.
In January this year, the airports began the use of the new runway but as a taxiway which did allow for a nearly double increase in hourly operational capacity and aided massively in smoothing air traffic flow in and out of the airport.
As the new seaplane terminal is finally in operation the new code F runway at Velana Airport will finally be opened from 6th October 2022 for takeoff and landing and the current runway in use will be used as a parallel taxiway.
The new runway will further smoothen operations at Velana Airport however to properly cater to the current demand and future growth will be achieved following the completion of the new passenger terminal.