Seaplane Facilities at Velana International Airport

Malé City, Maldives

Award of Merit

Submitted By: Beijing Urban Construction Group

Owner: Maldives Airports Co. Ltd.

Lead Design Firm: AECOM Asia Co. Ltd.

General Contractor: Beijing Urban Construction Group Co. Ltd.

Subcontractors: Jinggong Steel International Co.; Beijing Zhengcheng’an Construction Engineering Technology Co.

The team that built new seaplane facilities at Velana International Airport in the Maldives overcame pandemic travel restrictions, worker shortages and supply-chain disruptions to build the world’s largest seaplane terminal and support system. The airport’s new floating dock area can accommodate more than 55 seaplanes, 50% more than the existing docks. A four-story, 28,000-sq-meter terminal contains spacious lounges and extra boarding gates, along with office and operational spaces.

The project team, which included specialists from China, the U.S., U.K. and India, built the new facility on time and within budget despite owner-requested changes five months after the project started. The team took great care to meet the strict environmental requirements of the Maldives and establish processes during construction to mitigate impacts on the surrounding coral reefs and marine environment and minimize damage to marine biodiversity. Those measures included reducing the fuel consumption of large-scale equipment, which not only improved the economic benefits of the project and shortened the construction schedule but also helped to achieve green construction goals.

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