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Airport History

On 19th October 1960, Velana International Airport saw its bold beginning by its first Aircraft which landed on the slotted steel runway on the Hulhule Island. The air plane was a Royal New Zealand Air force Transport Plane.
The first commercial Plane was an Air Ceylon Flight which landed on 10th April 1962. In 1964 the Maldives government decided to replace the slotted steel runway with an improved asphalt runway, the new asphalt runway had a dimension of 45 x 2840 meters.

Alongside the newly completed runway an office named “Hulhule Airport” was duly opened on the 12th of April 1966 hence the airport was officially opened by the former Prime Minister his Excellency Mr. Ibrahim Nasir. The dedication, sweat and unwavering determination of the Maldivians were proud of this day because it was a Maldivian dream even before gaining independence in 1965.
The following years showed a steady increase in traffic as a result of international technological development and closer ties with the outside world. When tourism started in the late 1970’s Maldives Airport was in dire need of expansion with the increasing passenger flow. It was time to provide a better system of air traffic and on the 11th November 1981 with an improved infrastructure Male International Airport was officially opened by the former president Mr. Maumoom Abdul Gayyoom.

Over the years many improvements has taken place with the infrastructure and technological advances such as building a dedicated departure terminal with its prier adjoining later and establishment of a state of the Air traffic control Tower under the fourth Phase. VIA has seen great new improvements establishing itself alongside other international Airports.