Male’ International Airport
22 June 2010. Vice President and Spokesman for the opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) Ibrahim Shareef has said the DRP will not honour “shady deals made according to vested interests” if the party comes to power in 2013, referring to the government’s privatising of the country’s airports.
The government has shortlisted three parties to run Male’ International airport and will select one over the next 3-4 days.
The parties include Aéroports de Paris Management Company of France (ADP) and Turkish company TAV Airports Holding Company, Indian company GVK Airport Developers in partnership with Swiss Flughafen Zurich AG, and GMR-KLIA.
Shareef expressed concern that the government’s efforts to privatise state assets, such as the airport, were not occurring with parliament approval.
“Parliament is in the process of amending a public finance bill that will stipulate the government has to put these decisions before parliament,” he said.
“If the governing party will not accept this, then the new [DRP] government will not honour this type of shady deal. We will not honour shady deals – only lawful deals according to parliament.”
The government has also received a proposal from GMR to upgrade Hanimadhoo airport and increase tourist traffic to the northern atolls.
For a country dependent on international tourist arrivals, the airports are the ventricles of the Maldives economy. Addressing concerns that privatising them would loosen the government’s control over these critical assets, Minister for Civil Aviation and Chairman of the Privatisation Committee Mahmoud Razee observed that all the interested parties being considered “have experience running many international airports”.