Vice President of the Maldives, Faisal Naseem has officially inaugurated the new Code F runway and Noovilu Seaplane Terminal developed at Velana International Airport (VIA). At a special ceremony held at the airport this morning, the new Code-F runway was officially commenced with the arrival of emirates B777 aircraft at 0715hrs. The flight was welcomed with a water salute. The Noovillu seaplane terminal was officially inaugurated by Vice President Faisal Naseem, Chairman of Maldives Airports Company Ltd Mr. Mohamed Umar Manik and the Chinese Ambassador Her Excellency Wang Lixin. The two functions were attended by Government Ministers and high-level delegates.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Vice President noted that VIA is the main gateway to the Maldivian economy and that the entire Maldivian economy is based on transport and tourism. The Vice President said that the runway opened today would bring a positive change to the Maldivian economy.
In his address, the Vice President stated that VIA was being built in accordance with the airport's master plan, and he emphasized the development of the runway, fuel farm, seaplane terminal, and passenger terminals construction. The project at VIA, according to the President is equivalent to the construction of a new airport within an existing airport. The Vice President further stated that airport services have been maintained indefinitely during the airport's construction.
Speaking at the ceremony, Board Chairman of Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL), Mohamed Umar Manik said the code-F runway developed at VIA will be used for a longer period. The chairman also noted that the runway was developed using modern drainage systems. He also noted that the Noovilu seaplane terminal was developed with high-quality services and is a state-of-the-art infrastructure.
Speaking at the ceremony, Chinese Ambassador to the Maldives Her Excellency Wang Lixin said that it is a pleasure to have the opportunity to assist the development of the airport by the Chinese government. She also noted that China's Beijing Urban Construction Group has successfully completed the new runway project, and that the company is also carrying out other development projects at VIA.
Speaking at the ceremony, CEO and Managing Director of Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL), Mahjoob Shujau noted that the new runway is built to cater for the largest passenger airlines in the world and this is the first time in the history of the airport to use the runway and a taxiway together.
The new runway at is 3,400 meters long and 65 meters wide and with the commencement of the new Code F runway, the number of flights landing and departing from VIA will increase from 8 to 21 per hour. The flight delay will also be resolved by shortening the 10 minutes spent on clearing the runway to 3 minutes.
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