Velana International Airport (MLE)
is the main airport of Maldives Islands, Indian Ocean.
Maldives are one of the most important, known, beautiful holiday places in the Earth: sea, sun, food, relax, holidaymakers arrive from all over the world, very often with charter flights.
The airport is a jewel on the sea: airplanes, mainly widebodies, land almost on the water and then taxies toward a long, narrow apron; on the apron there aren't parking stands marks, the airplanes park according to ground/apron crew directions.
The airport handles about 5 million passengers per year and, in 2018, a new apron has been built: it is situated in the southwest area respect the runway and, in June 2019, a Maldivian A320 tested the apron. A second apron has been built in the southeast area respect the existing runway but the airport shape is changing. A new runway has been built on the east, parallel to the existing 36/18 runway: the old one will become a taxiway while the new runway will become the main one in the next months.
These the airlines serving Velana airport:
Air France (Paris-Charles de Gaulle)
Air India (Bengaluru, Dehli, Thiruvananthapuram)
Air Italy (Milan-Malpensa)
Air Asia (Kuala Lumpur)
Alitalia (Milan-Malpensa, Rome-Fiumicino)
Austrian Airlines (Vienna)
Bangkok Airways (Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi)
Beijing Capital Airlines (Beijing-Daxing)
Blue Panorama (Milan-Malpensa)
British Airways (London-Gatwick)
Cathay Pacific (Hong Kong)
China Eastern Airlines (Colombo, Kunming, Shanghai-Pudong)
China Southern Airlines (Colombo, Guangzhou)
Edelweiss Air (Zurich)
Emirates (Colombo, Dubai-International)
Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi)
Gulf Air (Bahrain, Colombo)
Hainan Airlines (Beijing-Capital)
Hong Kong Airlines (Hong Kong)
IndiGo (Bengaluru, Kochi, Mumbai)
Korean Air (Colombo, Seoul-Incheon)
Neos (Milan-Malpensa, Rome-Fiumicino, Verona)
Qatar Airways (Doha)
Royal Jordanian (Amman)
Saudia (Jeddah, Riyadh)
Shanghai Airlines (Shanghai-Pudong)
Sichuan Airlines (Chengdu)
Singapore Airlines (Singapore)
SriLankan Airlines (Colombo, Tokyo-Narita)
Thai AirAsia (Bangkok-Don Mueang)
Turkish Airlines (Istanbul)
As you can see from this list many airlines fly to Velana, among them many low costs, majors, charter. Many airlines stop at Colombo (Sri Lanka) and then continue to Malè.
How did this airport born? I bought a 2 meters x 1 meter 50 centimeters wood panel with the intent to build Malè-Velana on one side and St. Maarten-Princess Juliana on the other side.
I built both airports making some mistakes: about Malè-Velana i was quite satisfied even if i added the old lake-lagoon on the southwest side of the runway and sticked a dark green grass; about St. Maarten-Princess Juliana i created a beautiful Maho Beach (the most exciting place of the world for mad people who want to be almost killed by the jetblast!) with the wonderful very low approach and landing to runway 10, but i wasn't satisfied about the apron/taxiways tarmac grey and the layout was developing too much towards northwest.
The biggest problem was the giant size of the wood panel, too big to find a right storage. So i decided to saw the wood panel, reducing it in lenght and width: about the width i was able to eliminate some water, sand, grass while, about the lenght, i made a giant mistake!
Realizing two airports in both sides of a wood panel always remember to make the thresholds in the same place of the both sides! I explain better: both Velana and Princess Juliana have two interesting thresholds, 10 for St. maarten (Maho Beach) and 36 for Velana (the approach on the Indian Ocean) and the features are the most important of the airports! For this reason they must remain even sawing the wood panel reducing it. The problem was that i realized St. Maarten-Maho Beach-runway 10 on one side-upper part of the panel, Velana-runway 36 on the other side-lower part of the panel...sawing it to shorten i had to decide which "feature" to eliminate!
I decided to leave Malè-Velana airport, making some updates/change, and to totally rebuild St. Maarten-Princess Juliana. There was also another problem: a too big wood panel (usually multilayer) if not enough thick, starts to bend because of the paints and tempera colors. So i bought another wood panel, i sticked it on the other side respect Velana-Malè airport using nails, i nreached a toptal thickness of 1,7 centimeters (enough not to bend a 170 x 100 centimeters wood panel, and completely rebuilt St. Maarten- Princess Juliana airport.
I realized a long-narrow strip of Malè terminal building, with the tower.
Here for you, deal friends and collectors, Malè-Velana International Airport
To check the airport i used three airlines:
Condor B767-300WL from Frankfurt
China Southern B787-9 from Guanghzou
Emirates B777-300ER from Dubai-International.
Everything works very well and i have also space to enlarge the apron, adding more parking stands.