THE NEW VIA TERMINAL TO OPEN FOR PEAK SEASON
President-elect Dr Mohamed Muizzu stated positive outlook regarding the completion of the new VIA terminal for the upcoming peak tourism season during the Hotelier Maldives GM Forum, emphasizing his hope that the project's contractors and investors would collaborate to ensure its readiness before the next peak season. The project was originally given to Saudi Arabia's Bin Laden Group in May 2016, however it was delayed for a variety of reasons until the Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL) extended the contract with the Bin Laden Group in June 2019.
Dr. Muizzu also revealed ambitions to expand the country's aviation sector in addition to this development. This involves the construction of 13 new domestic airports and the establishment of a seaplane hub in the southern region, with the goal of expanding tourism options throughout the Maldives. He also stated his support for tourism development and the facilitation of larger passenger aircraft in order to increase visitor numbers. The new VIA terminal is estimated to cost USD 357 million. It includes the construction of a 78,000-square-meter terminal that will increase yearly passenger capacity to 7 million arrivals, up from 1.5 million now.