The development of airports in three islands will commence this year, announced President Abdulla Yameen on Monday.
Speaking at the reopening ceremony of the domestic Kooddoo Airport in Gaafu Ali atoll, which has been upgraded to accommodate large aircrafts of up to 42 tonnes, the president proclaimed that airport development projects will begin in the islands of Kulhudhuffushi in Haa Dhaal atoll, Farukolhufunadhoo in Shaviyani atoll, and Maafaru in Noonu atoll.
The projects are to funded from the state budget and foreign aid, said President Yameen, who went on to stress the benefits the airports would bring to the economy and tourism sectors of the atolls.
Further, President Yameen described his government as â€œinvestor friendlyâ€, noting that several foreign backers, including countries such as Singapore, are investing in the Maldives.
Meanwhile, the government has also awarded a project to develop airports in five islands to a Malaysian firm last March for USD 57.7 million. Under the project, domestic airports are to be constructed in the islands of Funadhoo and Nilandhoo in Shaviyani atoll, Maavarulu and Faresmaathoda in Gaafu Dhaal atoll in addition to Kulhudhuffushi.