Paving a runway requires highly skilled workforce and the right material.. Not anybody can supply the Asphalt mixture as per specification.. the high impact of the Jets onto the runway requires careful preparation of the surface.. Hope MACL chooses their suppliers correctly .
Speaking at a press conference held at MACL’s main office, the company’s Managing Director Adil Moosa proclaimed that 70 percent of the land reclamation required for Velana International Airport (VIA)’s new runway has been completed with other preparations already ongoing. He stated that the runway development will commence during the first quarter of this year from the southern end of the island.
The project to develop VIA’s new runway was awarded to Beijing Urban Construction Group (BUCG) of China. BUCG had appointed United Arab Emirates (UAE)’s dredging firm Gulf Cobla as its subcontractor which commenced land reclamation for the runway last July 25. MACL had earlier estimated that reclamation will add around 30 percent or 62 hectares of land to the airport.
Officials of MACL and BUCG presented the project’s progress to reporters on Tuesday. According to BUCG, several equipment required to commence runway development will be brought to the Maldives within this month, some of which have already arrived.
The USD 373 million (MVR 5.7 billion) project, funded by a loan from the Export-Import (EXIM) Bank of China, aims to establish a new runway measuring 3,400 metres in length and 60 metres in width which can accommodate the largest airplanes such as Airbus A380. The project includes development of a new cargo terminal with a capacity of 120,000 tonnes and a fuel farm with a storage of 45 million litres.
MACL also assured that relocation of the current seaplane terminal at the airport will commence soon, as the sand to reclaim land for the new runway is being excavated from the lagoon of the current seaplane terminal.
Moreover, MD Adil said that the project to develop an airline complex with additional gates is also underway. Construction of the complex’s steel framework has already begun while installation is scheduled for coming February.
VIA’s new runway is part of the government’s USD 800 million (MVR 12.3 billion) project to develop and expand the main airport. The project also features development of a new international terminal.