The Airports Authority of India (AAI) started working on the Hanimaadhoo International Airport expansion project, which is considered as one of the largest infrastructure and connectivity projects in Maldives.

The airport expansion project is funded by $800 million credit from Exim Bank, wholly owned by the government of India. The authority expects that the detailed project will be prepared in two months and the first project implementation steps are planned to begin in early 2021.

The project includes the upgrade of terminals, fuel farms, and fire stations. Moreover, it will involve the extension of the runway to 2,200 meters. This will allow accommodating narrow-body planes such as Airbus 320s and Boeing 737s.

A delegation from the AAI also visited the Maldives this week and held meetings with Minister of Economic Development Fayyaz Ismail and members of the Parliament representing constituencies in the north.

Earlier on September 20, 2020, India also extended a $250 million loan to the Maldives Government to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19.