Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL) has announced that installation of sheet piles at the reclaimed land for developing of the new runway at Velana International Airport (VIA), has begun.
The work commenced on the 1st of August, and are being installed at 3,300 metres of the 650,000 square metre reclaimed land at the north east lagoon area, according to Managing Director of MACL - Adil Moosa.
He further stated that compacting and leveling of the area to establish the new runway of VIA is in progress, which will be followed by laying of foundation. About a 70 millimetre thick cement will be laid as the initial layer of the foundation, which will then be compacted to a thick layer of 200 millimetres, followed by additional four layers of cement in order to cover and level the area.
In addition to the new runway, a brand new seaplane terminal is also under development. Other sheet piling works are currently ongoing for the new seaplane terminal, repair and maintenance facility are for the seaplanes, as well as the upcoming jetty area and concrete capping beam.
Beijing Urban Construction Group (BUCG) has designed and is doing the construction work along with Gulf Cobla Tennssor Maldives for the 3,400 metre x 60 metre runway, as well as the new seaplane terminal. Both developments began work with a fund of USD 400 million, loaned by the China EXIM Bank. It is expected to begin operation in mid 2018, and is said to accommodate the world's largest passenger airliner - Airbus A380.
The new runway along with the other developments at Velana International Airport is part of a mega project of USD 800 million, for expanding and upgrading the Maldives gateway to cater for seven million passengers (the least) per annum.