A new airport in the Maldives at the northernmost Haa Alifu Atoll, Hoarafushi has been opened. While Hoarafushi is a residential island in the Maldives, the atoll features various luxury resorts in the Maldives including; JA Manafaru, Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa, Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi and more.
Resorts in the atoll are easily accessible by seaplanes. However, with the opening of this new airport, budget travellers can easily travel to the guesthouses in the area. Thus, supporting the growing local tourism sector of the Maldives.
President of the Maldives, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih inaugurated the airport on 19th November 2020. The president emphasized this is the most optimal time for tourism development in the atoll. Furthermore, he added that upon consultation with the Ministry of National Planning, Housing and Infrastructure, he had approved the proposed land plots for tourism development in Hoarafushi Island as well.
In his remarks, the President highlighted that establishing an airport in the area has been a longstanding aspiration of the residents of the region and that its completion marks an important milestone in this Administration’s efforts towards decentralisation.A press release by the President’s Office read.
Hoarafushi Airport will connect flights between the main Velana International Airport and the Ihavandhippolhu region. In addition to that, the Haa Alifu airport features:
- A 1.2 kilometer runway
- 8,635 square meter apron
- A taxiway, service roads
- 9,473 square meter parking area
- 1,718 square meter fire access road
Local tourism has started picking up since the Maldives allowed guesthouses outside the greater Malé Region to reopen from 15th October 2020. As per the latest statistics from the ministry of tourism, the Maldives recorded a total of 59,105 tourist arrivals since the border reopening (as of 19th November 2020).