Changi signs consultancy deal as MACL aims for 9.6 million passengers

Singapore’s Changi Airport International has today signed a deal to provide consultancy services for the renewal and expansion of Malé international airport.

During a ceremony held this morning Maldives Airport Company Ltd (MACL) Managing Director Ibrahim ‘Bandu’ Saleem revealed that the new masterplan envisioned 9.6 million passengers using the airport by 2030.

Saleem questioned why “not much has been done for the development of Malé international airport”, saying that financial arrangements with China’s Exim Bank were in place, with work expected to start early next year.

A previous concession agreement with India’s GMR for the management and operation of the airport was terminated in late 2012, with the company winning its arbitration case against the Government of Maldives in June this year.

Political opposition to the GMR deal focused on nationalist sentiment, and President Abdulla Yameen has emphasised the importance of retaining government control over Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA).

Both Changi CEO Lim Liang Song and Minister of Tourism Ahmed Adeeb spoke today of the strong emotional symbolism of the airport.

“As we know, our airport is very much emotionally attached – it’s not only an airport, but an airport that was built by Maldivian people and it is in their sentiments and it is President Yameen’s vision to develop the airport by the government of Maldives and to keep its operation under the government of Maldives,” said Adeeb.

Song compared this sentiment with Singaporean’s feelings towards Changi International Airport, noting that this would be kept in mind as the group.

“At the end of this, we are the consultants. We will give you best advice on practices on processes – the airport has to be moved by the emotions, the vision, of the government as well as MACL,” he explained.

During today’s signing ceremony, Adeeb discussed the government’s vision for the airport, noting that infrastructure would have to be complemented by enhanced human resources in order to provide an international class facility.

“We look forward to opening a brand new, luxurious, airport where the high end tourists would like to spend their time and have that luxurious feeling – a feeling that they are in an airport in the most beautiful destination in the world.”

Adeeb has previously explained that Changi, which manages Singapore’s multiple award-winning Changi airport, would be hired as consultants as they are better qualified to work with Chinese and Japanese contractors.

Following GMR’s renovations to the current international terminal in 2012 – part of the country’s largest foreign investment deal – the project became overwhelmed by political opposition, leaving the foundations of a new terminal to rust on newly reclaimed land.

After arbitration proceedings found the agreement to have been valid and binding, GMR have recently revealed they are seeking US$803 million for damages and loss of reputation – a figure equivalent to around two thirds of next year’s forecast state revenue.

With the court yet to conclude on the amount owed by the Government of Maldives, GMR were reported to have expressed surprise when a preliminary agreement was signed with Beijing Urban Construction Group (BUCG) to upgrade INIA.

2013 saw over 1.3 million tourists land at INIA – around one third of which were Chinese.

MACL’s Bandu Saleem noted today that the government also had plans to expand regional airports – of which there are currently ten – with plans to develop an airport in Raa Atoll.

Correction: this article previously incorrectly stated MACL had signed an agreement with Changi Airport Group. MACL signed an agreement with Changi Airports International.

Related to this story

Airport development begins, with “no chance” of GMR returning to project

GMR lodges US$803million claim, pleads for award of further damages for loss of reputation

GMR surprised with decision to give airport development to Chinese firm

Agreements on bridge and airport penned during Chinese president’s visit


10 thoughts on “Changi signs consultancy deal as MACL aims for 9.6 million passengers”

  1. Lets hope this agreement gets to a fruitful conclusion. Changi is definitely a consultant everyone would feel good about.

    The Maldivians have a history of conniving and hellbent nature of the self-destruction from within. Jealousy, hatred towards a successful person, unhealthy competition between each other, have led to innumerable breakups of everything, such as marriages, partnerships, friendships, joint ventures, political affiliations etc.

    As The Creator would say, "no need to worry about those little islands, they would never let anyone get out of the hell alive! They will break the legs of anyone one trying to climb out!"

    I cant understand, why so many conflicts come up in every corner of life here. After all, the religion preaches kindness, politeness, brotherhood, etc. And then there is the 100%, previously shouted proudly, now said in shamed whispers only.

    Up above, The Creator would be laughing at our idiotic sense of pride...

  2. Good move. Singapore standards are trustable.

    What Maldives should absolutely avoid (like plague) are the Indian Standards, especially in construction.

    Why: well, you have seen IGMH..


  4. The question is when did the bidding process take place?
    Apparently the current government are content to award contracts to China and Singapore without opening the opinion for tender.
    I seem to remember MDP being heavily criticised when the last contract was awarded, why the big silence now?

  5. @ plague
    Your comments regarding IGMH are outrageous. The hospital was built as a goodwill gesture by the government of India and paid for by taxpayers like me.
    Show some gratitude to your benefactors moron.
    Do us Indians a favour
    and keep away from our colleges and hospitals. Save your worthless currency and try and build better facilities in your own country.
    Let us hope the Changi consortium get paid and there isn't a change of government during the contract period.

  6. Miss India, seems you have a few anger issues you need to sort dear. What's with all the hate? All your comments seem to be negative. May I ask why? Has someone in the government done wrong by you? Very strange that you make these negative comments but what is the real reason behind them?

    Davin - dream on buddy. The end.

  7. Indians are like the plague. They should follow China's one child rule because they are spreading around the world like a disease. In Australia you can't move 10 metres without seeing one in your face. I'm not racist but most of them have Miss India's attitude - selfish and self-absorbed. Most rubbish, dirty race in the world. Just look at the Ganges river, fits the description of the people perfectly. Oh ok I'm being a little harsh, maybe 90% are worthless, 10% ok. You're in the 1st lot miss India

  8. Missindia leave, you are causing outrage and a rise in emotion in Maldives people and insult Islam always as swell. India took advantaged Nasheed and this was correct now Maldives has friend of China so India must deal fair.

  9. I agree Kashim. This person 'miss India' is a jealous, pathetic nobody who's arguments are nonsense and boring. I suggest you get a life miss India and try to find a useful hobby. Knitting perhaps?

  10. Please forgive me for being an idiot but I can't help it. I will never ever comment in minivan news because I am an illiterate fool that doesn't have brain. Susu is a monkey I picked up near igmh hospital and she has half the brain I have.


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