Hanimaadhoo International Airport development project to be handed over to contractor in July according to economic minister Fayyaz Ismail.
Hanimaadhoo International Airports runway is to be extended to 2,200m to allow for larger aircraft operations. Development of passenger terminal, cargo terminal, fuel farm, and fire fighting facility is planned.
Once completed the airport plans to cater to narrow-body jet aircraft like the Airbus A320. This projected is funded through USD 800 million Line of Credit from EXIM Bank of India.
The airport presently has a 1220m runway. At the moment primarily national airline Maldivian operates domestic flights from Hanimadhoo to various airports within Maldives. Maldivian also operates international flights to India from Hanimaadhoo.
Development of this airport would be of great assistance in widening of the tourism sector in the northern region.
Presently tourist traveling to resorts and guest houses in the northern region first flies to Male’ Airport and then catches another seaplane or domestic flight to reach to their destination hotel.
Commencing of more direct international flights means fewer transit flights and less travel time which would allow for cheaper ticket costs for tourists thus help in boosting tourism.
Additional airline operations would also create competition thus reducing ticket costs which would benefit both tourists and locals.