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Male’ International Airport will be a “state-of-the-art, 21st Century airport of which every Maldivian can be proud

29/6/2010- President Nasheed has said that the new Male’ International Airport will be a “state-of-the-art, 21st Century airport of which every Maldivian can be proud.”

Examining photographs of the new terminal building – released to the public for the first time - the President said the new airport will “create jobs, bring in new investments for the country, improve services for passengers and allow tourism to expand.”

The government awarded the contract for building and operating the new airport to Malaysia Airports Holdings and GMR Group, after a competitive tendering process, overseen by the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation.

Malaysia Airports Holdings operate 59 airports, including Kuala Lumpur International Airport, which many aviation experts consider to be one of the best airports in the world.

Malaysia Airports Holdings has worked with India’s GMR Group for over seven years. The two firms designed, built and now manage Hyderabad’s new international airport. Malaysia Airports Holdings and GMR Group also manage Istanbul International Airport and next month will unveil Delhi’s new international airport.

“This is the culmination of an 18 month process to find an appropriate partner to manage the airport. We are very happy with the way the bidding process was carried out. The process was open, honest, transparent and competitive and the World Bank and international lawyers oversaw the process from start to finish,” said Mifzal Ahmed of Invest Maldives.

“GMR Group will build the new terminal and Malaysia Airports will operate and manage the new airport for 25 years. However, the airport will still remain the property of the Maldivian people. The Maldives National Defense Force will provide security and the government will retain control over which aircraft can land at the airport,” said Mifzal.

“The new airport will allow for more flights, reduce overcrowding and speed up airport check in. The new airport terminal will include a piazza with new shops, cafes and restaurants that everyone can enjoy. New transport links also mean that people living in Hulhumale’ will be able to drive to the airport in just five minutes,” Mifzal added.

Malaysia Airports Holdings and GMR Group will invest over US$400 million in the new airport, which is due to be completed in 2014.

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