Maldives seaplane terminal wins Global Best Projects award

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The newly-opened Noovilu seaplane terminal at the Velana International Airport (VIA) has won the 2022 Global Best Projects Awards of Engineering News Record (ENR), taking the prize in the Merit of Airport/Port category.

The award was accepted by VIA operator Maldives Airports Company Ltd (MACL) at the 10th annual ENR Global Projects Awards held virtually on 12 December.

Noovilu was among 34 projects from 18 different countries that won awards in 18 categories. 

“ENR Global Best Projects identifies and recognises the team’s effort to build the facility on-time by overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic travel restrictions, workers shortage, supply-chain disruptions,” according to MACL. “Also, the team’s effort to meet the environmental requirements of the Maldives and establish processes during construction to mitigate impacts on the surrounding coral reefs and marine environment and minimise damage to marine biodiversity. ” 

The biggest seaplane terminal in the world, Noovilu has a floating dock area that can accommodate more than 55 seaplanes. The four-story, 28,000 square metre building has offices, arrival lobbies, and boarding gates as well as spacious lounges, most of which are dedicated for resorts aside from the MACL’s VIP and business lounges. Counters for Trans Maldivian Airways, – which operates the world’s largest seaplane fleet – the privately-owned Manta Air and national carrier Maldivian airline are located at the entrance.

The terminal’s sleek design reflects the turquoise and blue shades of the famed Maldivian lagoons. Over 35,000 square meters of land was reclaimed and over 720 meters of sheet piling was done at the eastern lagoon of Hulhulé island for the US$55 million seaplane project.