At times you’ll be able to see seaplanes taxing nearby the entry/exit to the highway from Hulhumale; do you ever wonder why?
There are three water runways used for seaplane’s in Velana International Airport and the wind is the key component in determining the active runway in use.
As the weather condition is generally fine in the Maldives, the north left water runway is used mainly for takeoff as the taxi distance is shorter while the north right and the south left water runway is used for landing.
The reason why you get to see seaplanes by the entry/exit side to the highway in Hulhumale is when the winds no longer favor for north left water runway takeoff’s and the south left water runway is used instead.
In the picture above picture, you can see 11 seaplanes queuing up for south-left departure during peak hours. The remaining two seaplanes appear to be taxing to the docks after landing.
During higher westerly winds, the west water runway will be active for landing, and during this time you can see seaplanes landing over the highway.