As part of the Maldivian government’s mega project to enhance Velana International Airport (VIA), the seaplane terminal and seaplane operations are slated for relocation to Furanafushi, the island currently occupied by the Sheraton Maldives Full Moon & Spa. The new development will include facilities for three water runways, and the overall capacity will be designed to cater to the services of up to five seaplane operators.
Apart from the seaplane terminal relocation, a new domestic terminal capable of handling 2000 passengers per hour, a notable increase from its current capacity of 300 per hour. Simultaneously, a dedicated terminal for low-cost carriers with a capacity of 1000 people per hour is planned.
Beyond terminal expansions, facilities to support increased operational capacity are planned. This encompasses the expansion of the fuel farm from 15 million litres to 45 million litres and a subsequent increase to 100 million litres with the newly unveiled plan. Cargo handling capacity is expected to rise from the recently developed 100 thousand metric tonnes to 300,000 metric tonnes by the completion of the next phase.
Furthermore, a Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) facility adhering to EASA standards will be established. The expansion project will introduce various new facilities and services. A significant feature is the creation of a special economic zone for VIA, with Funadhoo Island developed as a transit hub for VIA passengers. Modern airport services, including transit hotels, shopping centres, restaurants, and necessary amenities, will be implemented. The transit hub and seaplane terminal island will be linked to the main airport via a monorail system.