Thaa Atoll’s Thimarafushi airport was officially opened this morning by President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan. The airport was developed by state-run Maldives Transport and Contracting Company (MTCC).
The airport was developed to provide an efficient means of transport to the people, Haveeru reports, although as the airport does not have a control tower flights will only land during the day.
Addressing a crowd at the inauguration ceremony, President Waheed emphasized that the airport would facilitate faster development within the atoll, in part by improving tourist accessibility.
The President noted that certain infrastructural development requirements must be fulfilled for the airport to be considered fully complete, reports Haveeru.
The airport development project was originally awarded to Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL) in April 2012. MACL subcontracted the project to MTCC for MVR32 million ($2.8 million) the following month. Delays, allegedly due to financial constraints, fueled political tensions earlier this year.
The airport will be operated by Island Aviation, which runs the Maldives national airline Maldivian Air.