President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan and the First Lady Madame Ilham travelled to Baa Atoll yesterday to officially open Dharavandhoo airport.
Waheed gave a speech highlighting the importance of catering to tourist in the atoll which last year became the country’s first UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
He also discussed the importance of developing the Maldives’ transport infrastructure and aviation capacity.
Local media reported that helium balloons were used to remove the cloth covering the airport’s sign, marking the official opening.
Waheed had travelled the twenty minutes to Baa atoll from Ibrahim Nasir Interational Airport (INIA) in Male’ where, this morning, a giant helium balloon could be seen reading ‘Go Home GMR’, by the Indian company’s office.
The development of INIA by GMR – the largest in the country’s history – has been beset by controversy since it was agreed by the former administration with current government-aligned parties calling for the airport’s nationalisation.