A new seaplane terminal will start operation in Maldives Velana Airport in 2020. The USD 40 million terminal will have a spacious arrival lobby, VIP lounges and restaurants for passengers.
Managing Director of Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL) Moosa Solih says that the company will take over the operations of the terminal in 3 years as “there are existing contracts with the operators. We also need to ensure a smooth transfer of operations from the existing terminal to the new one.” The new seaplane terminal is being built on reclaimed lagoon behind the air traffic control tower on the eastern side of the airport island of Hulhule. Although the can terminal accommodate 55 seaplanes at a time, it can be expanded to accommodate 100.
Currently, three airlines provide seaplane service: flagship carrier Maldivian, and privately run Trans Maldivian Airways and Manta Air. Seaplane operators heavily invest in expansion to cope with the growing tourist arrivals due to increase in resorts.