Earlier this year, there were many concerns about a jet fuel shortage at Velana International Airport (VIA), causing concern throughout the country as people worried about whether they would make it for their vacation if the airport ran out of fuel.
However, the concerns were addressed at a press conference held by representatives from both the airport and the State Electricity Company Limited (STELCO), the company in charge of restocking the fuel. Shortly afterwards, a new supply of jet fuel arrived in the Maldives, helping to cater the rising demand for jet fuel.
One of the reasons for this shortcoming was the Sri Lankan crisis, which caused all airlines to refuel from the Maldives, resulting in a sudden increase in demand for jet fuel at VIA that the airport could not handle at the time.
The Velana International Aiport was already implementing a major development project of the whole airport, which also includes the project to develop a new fuel hydrant system and a new fuel farm, among other expansion plans. The new fuel farm area contains fuel tanks holding 60 million litres of jet fuel. With this project expected to be completed by 2022, VIA's jet fuel shortage would most likely be resolved.
However, this is not the only airport in the Maldives that required the establishment of a solid fuel farm to meet rising demand during peak seasons. With the introduction of guest house tourism and the development of islands to be more tourism-based, the industry is no longer centred around the capital city, and the demand for airports to be developed around tourist hotspots has increased over the years.
With that, the Maldives' second largest airport at Noonu Atoll Maafaru, Maafaru International Airport (MIA) was built, with a runway of 2200 meters in length and 40 meters in width, a passenger terminal, and a VIP lounge funded by the UAE's Abu Dhabi Fund for Development. This new airport was built to accommodate the world's largest aircraft and opened in December 2019.
Being the second largest airport in the Maldives meant that Maafaru International Airport (MIA) had a high demand for jet fuel, as the airport receives a large number of jets during the season, necessitating the development of a fuel farm at the airport.
While work on the MIA fuel farm had been ongoing since before COVID, the pandemic halted progress in 2020. Now that the world has recovered from the pandemic's negative effects, work at the airport has resumed and is expected to be completed by the end of 2022.
With the completion of this fuel farm along with the fuel farm expansion work being carried out in VIA, the Maldivian airport company is bound to thrive in the near future.