Ibrahim Nasir International Airport
އިބްރާހިމް ނާސިރު ބައިނަލްއަޤުވާމީ ވައިގެބަނދަރު
|IATA: MLE – ICAO: VRMM|
|Owner||Government of Maldives|
|Operator||Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL)|
|Elevation AMSL||6 ft / 2 m|
Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (IATA: MLE, ICAO: VRMM), more commonly known as Malé International Airport, previously known as Hulhulé Airport, is the main international airport in the Maldives. It is located on Hulhulé Island in the North Malé Atoll, nearby the capital island Malé.
Today, Ibrahim Nasir International is well connected with major airports around the world, mostly serving as the main gateway into the Maldives for tourists. Moreover, despite the upgrading of Gan Airport to international standard, Ibrahim Nasir International is currently the only internationally active airport in the country.
The airport opened to the public on 12 April 1966. Later, the airport underwent renovation and upgrading to international standard, inaugurating its new name on 11 November 1981. It was managed financially and administratively by an independent corporate entity known as Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL), which is 100% owned by Government of Maldives and is governed by a board of directors appointed by the President. The Government of Maldives appointed International Financial Corporation (IFC), Washington – an arm of World Bank – as the Lead Transaction Advisor to manage and run the Bidding process for concession of the Malé International Airport. In a competitive bidding process run by IFC, more than 10 international investors participated. Based on the legal, technical and financial evaluation of the bids received, a consortium of GMR Group, India & Malaysia Airports Berhad (MAHB) was awarded the concession. On 25 November 2010, MACL officially handed over the aerodrome license of the then Malé International Airport to the newly formed GMR Male International Airport Pvt. Ltd. (GMIAL)–the project company to which the rights of the GMR-MAHB consortium with respect to rehabilitation, expansion, modernisation, operation and maintenance agreement relating to Male' International Airport were novated to.
On 26 July 2011, Male' International Airport was officially renamed as 'Ibrahim Nasir International Airport' in memory of Ibrahim Nasir, 2nd President of the Maldives. He is known for initiating the airport in 1960.
- 1 History
- 2 Facilities
- 3 Airlines and destinations
- 4 Statistics
- 5 Incidents and accidents
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Ibrahim Nasir International first started out as a small strip of land in the then inhabited island of Hulhulé. Hulhulé Airport was opened on 19 October 1960. The first runway built on Hulhulé Island was made of slotted steel sheets. The dimension of this runway was 75 x 3000 feet. The first aircraft, which landed at the airport, was a Royal New Zealand Air Force Transport plane on 19 October 1960 at 13:55hrs. The first commercial flight was an Air Ceylon flight (4R0ACJ) landed on this runway was at 15:50hrs on 10 April 1962. The first aircraft owned by the Maldives landed on the runway of the Hulhulé Airport on 9 October 1974.
In May 1964 the government and the people of Malé worked together to construct a new asphalt runway. The four districts of Malé competed for the prize money of 1,000 rufiyaa, awarded to the fastest district. On the first day 108 volunteers were enlisted for the project and 1,563.08 rufiya was donated. The new runway was opened on 12 April 1966 at 16:00 by the former president Ibrahim Nasir.
Upgrade to Malé International Airport
When the tourism industry in the Maldives began in 1972, the country was in need of an international standard airport to transport tourists to the resort islands. So, on 11 November 1981, the airport was officially inaugurated under a new name of "Malé International Airport". The airport was inaugurated by the then-president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom GCMG.
Maldives Airports Company Ltd (MACL)
As the airport started hosting frequent and numerous flights, the need for a corporate entity to manage the airport was realised. Thus, Maldives Airports Company Ltd. (MACL) was formed on 1 January 1994 to operate and manage the Male' International Airport. MACL is governed by the board of directors appointed by the President of the Maldives.
Privatisation of the airport
In 2010, Government of Maldives appointed IFC to run the bidding process for the privatisation of the airport. IFC apart from being the lead transaction advisor also ran the international bid process for the Government of Maldives. Among the bids received in the process, six bidders comprising more than ten international investors were prequalified for the transaction and a consortium of GMR Group, India & Malaysia Airports Berhad (MAHB) was one of the bidders. After the legal and technical evaluation of the bids received, financial evaluation of the bids was done. Out of 3 international consortium bids including ones from Flughafen Zürich AG and Aéroports de Paris, the bid was won by the consortium between GMR Group and Malaysia Airports who provided Rufiyaa 1 Billion as upfront fee to the government for the rehabilitation, expansion, modernisation, operation and maintenance of the airport for 25 years.
On 28 July 2010, a public-private partnership in managing the airport was signed between the Maldivian government and officials of GMR Group and Malaysia Airports, leasing the airport to the consortium for 25 years, with the new operator's mission being to develop MIA into a global standard airport by the year 2014.
In September 2010, GMR-MAHB consortium registered "GMR Malé International Airport Pvt. Ltd. (GMIAL)" as the new operator of the airport.
On 25 November 2010, MACL officially handed over the aerodrome license of Malé International Airport to GMIAL.
MACL continued to own the Male' International Airport and manage some of the other airports in Maldives.
More than 1200 employees from Maldives Airports Company Ltd (MACL) will be transferred to GMR Malé International Airport Pvt. Ltd. (GMIAL) as part of the privatisation. GMIAL became the main operator of the airport while MACL continued to be responsible for Air Traffic Control, Aviation Security Command and some other offices.
GMIAL announced that the development plans included reclaiming more land at the eastern end of the runway; where a new terminal is to be built. This terminal will consist of 3 separate bridged buildings. Plans for a separate cargo terminal was also announced. However,the project has been delaying and never started.
On 26 July 2011 Independence Day, the Maldivian government officially changed the name of the airport to 'Ibrahim Nasir International Airport'. This change was brought in memory of the late Ibrahim Nasir, 2nd President of the Maldives for initiating the airport in 1960, as well as for commemorating his work in the independence of Maldives.
Termination of Contract with GMR-MAHB
In late 2012, the government of Maldives declared that the concession agreement was void ab initio and on 27 November 2012 gave GMIAL a deadline of 7 days to evict the airport'. The Government also noted that after the termination of contract with GMR-MAHB, the government owned Maldives Airports Company Limited would run the airport'.
On the midnight of 7 December, GMR Handed over the airport to the government of the Maldives and now it's being run by MACL.
Airlines and destinations
1Some of these flights make an intermediate stop in Colombo, but Turkish Airlines does not have traffic rights solely between Male and Colombo.
As of March 2013, SriLankan Airlines is the largest foreign carrier into Maldives with 32 flights a week. Bandaranaike International Airport is the most common direct stop out of the Maldives as it is served by SriLankan Airlines, British Airways, China Eastern Airlines, Emirates and Korean Air who operate a combined total of up to 10 flights daily between Sri Lanka and the Maldives.
Incidents and accidents
- On 18 October 1995 an Air Maldives Dornier 228 abruptly turned right, left the runway, struck the seawall and somersaulted into the adjacent lagoon while landing. The plane was written off.
- On 15 August 1996 a Hummingbird Helicopters MIL Mi-8P lost control after takeoff due to the non-availability of hydraulic pressure. Only 4 people received minor injuries.
- On 17 May 2004, a Trans Maldivian Airways, de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter Series 300 collided with the sea-wall of runway 18 after experiencing problems taking off from the seaplane base. Both pilots and one passenger were seriously injured in the accident. The aircraft was written off.
- "There will be major changes to MACL: Nazim". Haveeru Daily. 8 December 2012. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
- Airport information for VRMM from DAFIF (effective October 2006)
- Airport information for MLE at Great Circle Mapper. Source: DAFIF (effective Oct. 2006).
- "IFC success stories".
- "GMR – Press Release". Gmrgroup.in. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
- "HaveeruOnline: Maldives News, Sports, Travel, Business, Technology, Entertainment, Politics and Breaking News". Haveeru.com.mv. Retrieved 21 August 2013.[dead link]
- "ACI release". ACI.
- "ARC". Airports.com.mv. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
- "Corporate". Airports.com.mv. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
- "GMR offers Rf1 billion for Male airport". Haveeru Daily. 24 June 2010. Archived from the original on 28 June 2010.
- "Airport leasing agreement signed". Haveeru Daily. 28 June 2010. Archived from the original on 17 June 2011.
- "GMR offers Rf1 billion for Male airport". Haveeru Daily. 24 July 2010. Archived from the original on 17 June 2011.
- "GMR to take over airport operations after advanced payment". Haveeru Daily. 26 September 2010. Archived from the original on 17 June 2011.
- "GMR-MAHB to takeover airport November". Haveeru Daily. 24 July 2010. Archived from the original on 17 June 2011.
- "President hopes 2011 budget will speed up development projects". Haveeru Daily. 13 December 2010. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
- "PrivateFly.com". PrivateFly.com. 25 November 2011. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
- "HaveeruOnline: Maldives News, Sports, Travel, Business, Technology, Entertainment, Politics and Breaking News". Haveeru Daily. Retrieved 21 August 2013.[dead link]
- "Malé International Airport to Become Ibrahim Nasir International Airport | Maldives Travel Lifestyle Experience". Maldives.net.mv. 16 July 2011. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
- [dead link]
- "Maldives cabinet passes to annul GMR agreement Maldives cabinet passes to annul GMR agreement". Haveeru Daily. 27 November 2012. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
- "MACL will now operate the airport: Finance Minister". Haveeru Daily. 27 November 2012. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
- "Maldives govt completes take over of airport from GMR". Haveeru Daily. 8 December 2012. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
- BA to drop Colombo turn Male seasonal
- "Cathay Pacific set to fly to the Maldives, one of the world's most exotic holiday destinations". Cathaypacific.com. 22 July 2013. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
- "Maldivian Plans to Start Wuhan Service from June 2014". Airline Route. 21 April 2014. Retrieved 21 April 2014.
- tigerair.com – Find some calm and quiet in Maldives
- "City pairs Schedule". Information and Services. JSC "TRANSAERO" Airlines. Retrieved 19 December 2012.
- "Maldives Civil Aviation Authority – 8Q-TMC Collision with Seawall". Aviainfo.gov.mv. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
Media related to Malé International Airport at Wikimedia Commons