With a generous amount of beautiful islands to explore, the Maldives became many people's dream holiday destination ever since its tourism industry took off. Beautiful luxury resorts miles and miles away from worries and beaches for days leaves little to complain about when it comes to a vacation spot. However, the problem many people face when travelling within the Maldives has always been transfer by boat as some might be faced with sea sickness – especially during rough seas.
With the ever-growing tourism industry, Maldives had already found a solution to this problem with the introduction of seaplanes with Trans Maldivian Airways (TMA) in 1997. This addition provided numerous benefits to the Maldives' tourism industry, as the new mode of transportation made it easier and less time-consuming to transfer from the capital city Male' to resorts. Without the hassle of sea transportation, many resorts located further away from the capital began to rely on seaplanes to transport guests.
With the Maldivian tourism industry broadening each passing year, the need for a better seaplane terminal has also been growing as the current terminal did not provide all the necessary services and was not capable of catering to a large number of guests. With many people in the industry having expressed their concerns about the negative effects that overcapacity delays are having on the Maldives' tourism industry, a new seaplane terminal has been in the works for quite some time.
These troubles, however, might finally be coming to an end as Maldives Airports Company (MACL) has recently announced that they are close to officially opening the new terminal named 'Noovilu,' which is designed to reflect the beauty of the Maldivian lagoon with a beautiful turquoise colour palette and is expected to start its operation within the next few months.
With the aim of officially starting operations in the last quarter of the year, several seaplane services have already begun shifting to the new seaplane terminal with test flights being conducted and are in the process of demolishing the old seaplane terminal – facilitating the better utilization of the newly built runway at Velana International Airport.
The new seaplane terminal will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the tourism industry since the new runway is 34,000 meters long and 65 meters wide, allowing them to accommodate A380 Aircraft - the biggest plane used for commercial travel.
In addition to this, the new terminal also has a 28,000 square meter floor space which includes arrival lobbies, offices and 43 lounges including VIP business lounges.