Velana International Airport. A transformation for the future.


Velana International Airport is the gateway to the Maldives. It is also the hub for domestic air travel and seaplane travel in the Maldives.

With an average of 80 daily international flights that connect the country to the rest of the world and a domestic network that caters to those travelling to the 11 domestic airports and over 350 daily seaplane movements from its water aerodrome, VIA keeps the country moving.

During the last year there were 1.4 million tourist arrivals. Hundreds of thousands more business and local travelers and expatriate workers passed through the airport to travel to and from countries in the region and beyond. On average 50 flights were operated to the domestic airports per day during the last year. Close to a million holidaymakers travelled to and from their resort destinations, dotted along the archipelago spanning 800 kilometers across the Indian Ocean.


A bold initiative by a leader confident in the future of the country’s

The Government of President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom has taken the boldest and the most decisive step so far in the history of VIA, by commencing the execution of its grand plan to build a modern airport that would conveniently cater to the needs of air travelers for the next 30 years. The expansion of VIA fits in with President Yameen’s vision, that is taking shape and form rapidly, of building the most dynamic economy in the region.

The development of VIA underway today is the greatest development and the largest investment that has ever been undertaken in its history. In terms of its quality, unique design, aesthetic appeal, the conveniences and comforts offered, the new VIA, expected to be completed by 2019, will perfectly fit in with the Maldives brand as a luxury destination, favored by the rich and the famous, and discerning travelers across the world.

The new facilities at VIA is also designed to energize the growth of the economy, by facilitating the capacity needed to fuel the engines of growth, that will deliver the country to and beyond the new economic frontiers, envisioned in the Government’s ambitious economic plans for the country.

With over 25 new resorts slated to be opened in the next year and many more under various stages of construction, international arrivals are expected to grow exponentially in the next few years. The Government plans to build four new domestic airports in 2018 alone under its program to strengthen the domestic transport network, which will expand domestic air travel to unprecedented levels. Economic development planned for the country and the mega projects that are currently underway will further increase the demand for international, domestic and seaplane travel through VIA in the next few years.


A passenger terminal that can cater to 14 international movement per hour

VIA’s new passenger terminal with 78,000 square meters of floor space, is designed to cater to over 7.28 million passengers per year with the capacity to manage 14 international air traffic movements, serve over 1700 arriving passengers and 1600 departure passengers per hour. Forty check-in counters at the departure check-in hall, will have the capacity to process passengers for several flights at any moment in time. An area of 9000 square meters will house luxury duty free boutiques with international brands from across the world and F&B facilities to cater to the tastes of various nationalities and culinary preferences.


A new runway to accommodate the

largest aircraft

A brand new runway with a length of 3400 meters is an important part of the new development. Built parallel to the existing runway, the new 60-meter wide runway is designed to cater to the largest passenger aircraft in operation in the world today, the Airbus A380. Test flights on the new runway are scheduled for September this year.

The existing runway will be used as a parallel taxiway for quick and efficient movement of arriving and departing aircraft, at the same time doubling up as an emergency runway.

A new fuel farm with the capacity to hold 45,000 cubic meters of Jet A1, and a state of the art hydrant fuel delivery system will fuel incoming aircraft.


Modern seaplane terminal that can process 500 passengers per hour

A new seaplane terminal with a footprint of 7000 square meters will offer operators and passengers 28,000 square meters of floor space. The terminal will have the capacity to process 500 passengers per hour at its peak and 200 as a standard and will consist of 45 docking stands at the onset with a growth allowance of over 70 docking stands to accommodate future growth of aircraft movements. Twenty departure gates each with the capacity to hold 18 passengers will facilitate efficient passenger flow. With a multitude of facilities and amenities for passengers, the terminal is designed to offer convenience and enhance passenger experience, and enable operators to offer seamless connections with international flights to arriving and departing passengers.

Cargo terminal that can handle 120,000 tons of cargo per year

Efficient and rapid movement of air cargo is essential to the country’s economy and its vision for the future. The new cargo terminal with a floor area of 18,000 square meters and the capacity to handle 120,000 tons of cargo per year will ensure the delivery of the precious cargo arriving from across the world to feed the tourism industry. Equipped with the latest systems and equipment required for cargo movement, it will also serve as the hub for quick and efficient clearance, transport and delivery of air cargo that drives the various industries that contribute to the livelihood of people today and the growth of businesses that would emerge in the future.

With the massive new development, which will soon be a reality, VIA is poised to become one of the greatest catalysts of growth for the country’s economy. It will enable the rapid expansion of tourism, providing the capacity to cater to those wishing to experience the natural splendor of the Maldives and enabling resort operators to meet their performance targets. The new airport will boost development of new industry and the growth of existing economic activity to fuel the country’s economic growth and development.

Abdulla Fathyn