Transport Ministry has noted that the government would soon decide on Villa Airport at ADh. Maamigili to be upgraded to international airport.
The following news made headlines in various newspapers on the ministers plan to make Villa Airport into an international airport. This has sparked up outrage amongst locals due to this decision as Villa Group founder and Chairman Gasim Ibrahim personal connection to Minister Nahula. Many claims have pointed that Minister Nahula is favouring her husband’s enterprise.
While the most recently developed Noonu Maafaaru International Airport was viewed as not being up to par according to Minister of State for Transport Ahmed Zuhair.
Responding to a Manadhoo MP Ahmed Haroon, the state minister Zuhair said Maafaru airport was issued a temporary international operations permit. He also noted that the airport was issued the temporary permit solely to handle private jets, and that the airport wasn’t ready to handle international passenger flights.
Zuhair furthermore noted that the airport requires to undergo major changes for it to be operational for international flights.
As Maafaru airport was built by the help of Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) with the construction work completed by a Singaporean company, Tuff Offshore. The airport runway has enlarged to accommodate Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 aircraft while Maagilli airport is still undergoing major changes to be intentionally ready.
Currently, many people are criticizing the decision to favour gasim while the case of mistreatment of staff and tax payment not being paid for 10 months raised concern over the Villa group.