A 1,200 meter section of the newly developed runway at Hanimaadhoo International Airport will go into service on Tuesday next week, Regional Airports Company Limited (RACL) has confirmed.

The runway expansion work at the airport is being carried out in three phases and the segment of the new runway coming into service next week will also be used for night flights, Managing Director at RACL Ahmed Mubeen said, adding that final preparations are underway for the deployment.

The new runway at Hanimaadhoo International Airport is set to be 2,465 metres long.

A sub-base has already been established for the 300-metre section of the second phase of the runway development, and the old runway will be shut down to facilitate work on the remaining section. The two sections are scheduled to be paved simultaneously.

The unfinished work on the runway would not disrupt flight operations, Mubeen said.

The development at Hanimaadhoo International Airport, projected to cost US$136.6 million, is one of the largest projects to be undertaken in the atolls so far.

The airport, when complete, will be able to accommodate Boeing 737 and A320 aircrafts and handle 1.3 million passengers annually. The entire project is scheduled to be completed within the year.

In addition to the new runway, nearly 30 percent of the passenger terminal building and jetty terminal building have been completed, along with over 70 percent of pavement and road works, and nearly 10 percent of the fuel farm and fuel jetty works, RACL said.