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India wins contract to construct Maldives’s Hanimaadhoo International Airport

by | Aug 15, 2022 | Business

JMC Project Ltd will take a lead in development work for USD 136.6 Million
"File:Hanimaadhoo Airport.jpg" by Andreas Faessler is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

New Delhi: The expansion of the Hanimaadhoo International Airport project in the Maldives has been awarded to India’s JMC Projects Limited. The project will cost USD 136.6 million. The Hanimaadhoo airport, 288 km from Male, will be the second-biggest international airport in the Maldives (After Male airport) and bring a new thrust to tourism and economic development in North Maldives. 288 km from Male
The project is financed by a Line of Credit from India’s EXIM Bank executed between the Government of the Maldives and the Exim Bank. A new 2.46-km runway and a terminal with an annual capacity of 1.3 million passengers will be constructed. Other facilities required to expand international travel will also be developed under the project. The construction work of the project is expected to begin in the last quarter of 2022 and is expected to be completed in the middle of 2024.
The Economic Ministry of the Maldives said that the airport will be able to accommodate large commercial aircraft, including Airbus A320s and Boeing 737s. The airport will also provide a direct getaway for flights from South Asia, Southeast Asia and East Africa.
The Ministry said that one of the biggest obstructions to developing tourism in the northern Maldives is the lack of airport handling operations of direct flights carrying tourists from different regions of the world and the expenses tourists must bear to travel to the northern Maldives.

Economic development of North Maldives
The construction of a quality international airport, will lead to the development of new resorts, city hotels and guest houses in the north Maldives, improving tourist inflow in the Maldives. This will also facilitate the export of fresh fish without first reaching Male, particularly yellow-fin tuna exporting companies.
Northern Maldivian will grow as a maritime hub for major cargo boats travelling through the world’s main shipping routes.

Male airport GMR Indian contract was cancelled in 2014
In a controversial move in 2014, the then government of the Maldives led by President Abdulla Yameen cancelled a $511 million deal with India’s GMR Infrastructure for the development of the Male airport and in 2016 gave it to China’s Urban Construction Group Company Limited for $800 million. Then GMR sued the Maldivian government in Singapore and got some compensation. Then India threatened to cut off aid to the country.
India and China have been taking major projects in the development of the Maldives for strategic geopolitical positioning in the Indian Ocean. India has been concerned about growing Chinese involvement in the Indian Ocean as Beijing opens its constructions of seaports and airports in the Indian dominated area.

Surinder Singh Oberoi
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