Contract sealed for the construction of Thinadhoo International Airport

22 Feb 2024 | 08:34
At the MoU signing ceremony between Maldives and Thailand’s Pan Pacific Corp. to develop an international airport in Thinadhoo City on February 20, 2024. (Photo/President's Office)

Tuesday night marked a significant milestone for the Maldives as the government inked a transformative agreement with Thailand's Pan Pacific Company Limited to build Thinadhoo International Airport in Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll.

The signing ceremony took place during President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu's ongoing visit to the southernmost four atolls of the country.

The agreement, valued at USD 400 to 600 million, signals a groundbreaking approach to finance models, as the Maldivian government will incur no costs for the airport project.

Minister of Construction and Infrastructure, Dr. Abdulla Muththalib, expressed that this innovative financial strategy aims to alleviate the burden on the state.

At a function held at Thinadhoo School, Minister Muththalib unveiled the comprehensive nature of the agreement, highlighting that the investor would not only fund the airport but also contribute to the development of the tourism industry in Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll and engage in various economic activities.

Currently boasting three airports, Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll has been underdeveloped despite its abundant resources.

Minister Muththalib emphasized the positive impact of the new airport, stating that it is a crucial step toward unlocking the atoll's potential.

The Thinadhoo International Airport is set to feature runways capable of accommodating large aircraft, along with amenities such as a flying pool, cargo services, and a fuel farm.

Minister Muththalib outlined additional plans, including the establishment of a sea plane hub, a deco chamber, and air ambulance services.

Furthermore, the contractor has proposed the construction of twelve resorts, promising to significantly increase the bed capacity in the area.

This ambitious project, according to Minister Muththalib, marks the largest development initiative Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll has ever witnessed.

It is noteworthy that the commitment to constructing Thinadhoo International Airport originated as a presidential pledge by former President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih during last year's campaigns.

President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu's administration is not only delivering on this promise but also eyeing further development by connecting Kaadehdhoo and Thinadhoo through a causeway bridge, as initially proposed.