The Mohamed Muizzu administration on Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Thailand’s Pan Pacific Company Limited to develop an international airport at Thinadhoo Island in Gaafu Dhaalu (GDh.) Atoll . The MoU was signed during the president ‘s current tour of the southern atolls.

Minister of Construction and Infrastructure Abdulla Muththalib signed the MoU on behalf of the government, with Chief Executive Officer, Jirat Petnunthawong signing on behalf of Pan Pacific Company Limited — as per the terms of the MoU, the contractor will bear the entire project cost.

“When the project is completed, the runway developed at Thinadhoo will be able to accommodate [even] the largest aircrafts. At the same time, a premier flying school will be established and an MRO [Machine, Repair and Overhaul facility] as well as a fuel farm will be established to service flights… Also, Huvadhu Atoll [administratively Gaafu Alifu Atoll (GA) and GDh. Atoll] being a large atoll, a seaplane hub will be set up with a seaplane terminal to transport guests to tourist resorts in different directions,” Muththalib said during the MoU signing.

According to the minister the contractor is also looking to develop 12 resorts, adding a bed capacity of 2,400 beds to the Maldives.

Additional facilities developed at the airport will include a decompression chamber and an air ambulance service.

“Therefore, this is the largest development in Huvadhu Atoll so far. With this, Huvadhu Atoll will be completely transformed. Huvadhu Atoll will become its own tourism destination within Maldives,” Muththalib explained.

According to a video presentation during the signing, this is set to be the largest over water structure to be developed in the Maldives. The airport will feature modern architectural design and will be a world-class airport, the report highlighted.

In addition, the airport will become the development hub of the region and will create a large number of jobs in tourism related sectors, such as in logistics as well as employment at a proposed yacht marina, and at the flight school, the report noted.

As development on an international airport at Thinadhoo is set to begin, the administration is currently looking to secure an interested party to conduct a feasibility study on a connectivity project to bridge Thinadhoo and Kaadehdhdhoo — Kaadehdhdhoo is home to the, domestic, Kaadehdhdhoo Airport.