Sunday 23rd Jan 2022
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GMR Agreement

Maldives Cannot Develop More International Airports: GMR Agreement

It has come to light that the Nasheed administration had, through the agreement it signed with the India-based GMR Group, agreed to not develop more international airports in the country. The agreement had been signed to hand the Maldives' main international airport; then known as Ibrahim Nasir International Airport; to the management of the GMR Group.
TMJ had received a copy of the agreement made with the GMR Group. The agreement prohibited the Maldivian government from developing any international airport in addition to the international airports in existence in the Maldives at the time of its signing.
In clause 11.20 of the agreement, the Nasheed administration had assured the GMR Group that the Maldives would host no more than three international airports; namely those at Male, Gan, and Hanimaadhoo.
After the nullification of the agreement, the Yameen administration had developed a fourth international airport at Maafaru (Noonu atoll), which is operated profitably by Island Aviation Services Limited. The airport at Maafaru receives many incoming private jets.
An existing domestic airport in Maamigili (Alifu Dhaalu atoll) had, in more recent years, been upgraded to an international airport. The current administration is considering developing international airports in other regions of the Maldives, as well.
President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih had vowed to develop an international airport in Huvadhoo atoll, in the south of the country. He had repeated that vow during the campaign for the Local Council Elections.
Minister of Finance, Ibrahim Ameer, had likewise assured the citizens of Huvadhoo atoll that an international airport would be developed there. However, Minister Ameer had also described the nullification of the agreement with the GMR Group as an "economic crime".