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Modernisation plan of Male airport in eye of political storm

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The consortium won the concession to manage, operate and develop Male's Ibrahim Nasir International Airport for 25 years in 2010 to modernise and expand the capacity of the existing terminal and construct a brand new one.

The new terminal, scheduled to open in summer 2014, is "right on track and will be ready for operation on time", airport CEO Andrew Harrison told PTI on phone from Male.

The political storm erupted after some parties demanded that the airport be nationalised once again. The Maldives government has, however, assured that Indian investments will be protected.

The matter also came up during President Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik's recent visit to India when he assured Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that Maldives would adhere to all agreements between Indian and its businesses. He had then expressed the desire for more Indian investments in Maldives.

GMR, which holds a 77 per cent stake in the consortium with the rest being held by its partner Malaysian airports, would provide facilities like aerobridges, fuel hydrant system, a parallel taxiway, besides a terminal approximately three times the size of the existing one.

"On opening day, the terminal will have the capacity to meet demand up to the year 2025 with minor expansion which is a requirement under the concession agreement," he said.

The committed value of the project is USD 511 million which "represents the largest single investment in the history of the Maldives", Harrison said. MORE

  

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