Maldives Announces 4 New Airport Projects For Investors
25 Apr 2014: Maldives currently have 10 airports in operation and few more under development. On top of this the government has now announced 4 new airport development projects, namely at Huvahandhoo in Haa Alif Atoll, Mathiveli in Alif Alif Atoll, Magudhoo in Faafu Atoll and Muli in Meemu Atoll. The islands will be leased for 25 years and investors will get one or two islands to develop resorts. Materials imported for airport development will get a tax exception.
The existing airport in Haa Alif Atoll is in Hanimaadhoo and the new development will take place just 35km away. Huvahandhoo Airport will collectively serve 6000 residents dispersed over 7 islands. One developed, these two will be the closest to each other, in Maldives.
Operating an airport for 6000 low-income residents is nowhere close to be feasible. A commercially viable airport requires at least 2000 tourist beds, or 10 resorts of 200 beds each. Currently there is only 1 resort with 142 beds (71 rooms).
Airports could be built for political gain, but how about other basic facilities such as health care, education? All these have to be subsidized to provide up to an adequate level. Even then people would need job opportunities and other leisure facilities. Subsidizing everything does not look possible.
The only other option is to develop consolidated populations of around 30,000 and make economy viable itself. To build the government may have to lease considerable islands to the investors. But, once done, it would fix the geo-economical problems forever.