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MACL temporarily ceases issuing space from new seaplane terminal

Jan 02, 2020

Male (Maldives) Jan 02: Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL) has revealed that they have temporarily halted issuing slots from the new seaplane terminal being established at Velana International Airport (VIA).
In a statement released Wednesday, MACL said the new seaplane terminal and its VIP building will be operated and maintained by MACL. However, seaplane operators will be carrying out their operations at the terminal after leasing slots from the terminal from MACL, they said.
MACL added that although discussions were carried out on leasing space from the terminal to seaplane operators, no agreements have been reached thus far. The negotiations have been ceased for the time being on the instruction of relevant authorities, said MACL.
Noting that the operation of the new runway developed at the country's main airport is a high priority, it can only be implemented when the seaplane terminal currently being used by the biggest seaplane operator, Trans Maldivian Airways (TMA) and other surrounding buildings are vacated. All buildings except those of TMA will be emptied within the next two months, revealed MACL.
The new seaplane terminal at VIA is being developed such that it can accomodate 55 seaplanes simultaneously. The number can be increased to 100 if needed.
While Maldives has largest seaplane base in the world, the foundation of the new seaplane terminal was laid during the tenure of former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom on January 29, 2018. The terminal was developed after dredging an area of 3.2 hectare from the Hulhule' lagoon, and is spread over an area of 14000 square meters. The US$ 40 million project was contracted to China's Beijing Urban Construction Group (BUCG), the same company developing the new runway at VIA.