Transportation and Communications
Maldives has two airports with permanent-surface
than 2,440 meters long, one located adjacent to Male on
Island, known as Male International Airport, and the other
Island in the southernmost Addu Atoll, which is scheduled
become an international airport. Since 1981, after the
widened and expanded, the airport on Hulele has been able
handle direct charter flights from Europe. The airport on
used only for domestic traffic. Two additional domestic
cater to foreign tourists. One on Kadu Island in
opened in 1986, and the other on Hanimadu Island in South
Tiladummati Atoll opened in 1990. A further domestic
Kodedu Island was scheduled to open in 1994.
In 1974 the government created Air Maldives, which had
eighteen-seat airplane. In the early 1990s, Air Maldives
between Hulele and Gan three days a week, and Kadu twice a
A twenty-seat seaplane operated by Inter Atoll Air also
scheduled and chartered flights between Hulele and many of
resorts. In addition, Hummingbird Helicopters (Maldives)
Seagull Airways each operated four helicopters for
flights. Another firm, Maldives Air Services, coordinated
services on the ground.
Maldives has an active merchant shipping fleet used for
import and export purposes, including ten cargo vessels,
container ship, and one oil tanker. The government-owned
National Ship Management, Ltd. is the largest of several
Maldivian shipping firms.
Male, the only port that can handle international
has been improved by the First Male Port Development
completed in late 1992. The Second Male Port Development
partly financed by a loan from the Asian Development Bank,
in late 1993 and is scheduled for completion in 1996.
The fishing dhoni is the traditional all-purpose
vessel in Maldives. Although dhonis have sails,
also engine-powered. Dhonis are used mainly within
sheltered waters of each atoll. Travel through the open
one atoll to another is usually by vedis, larger,
squareshaped wooden cargo boats.
The primary form of road traffic in Maldives is the
Motorcycles are the most common form of motor vehicles, of
4,026 were registered in 1990. Passenger cars on Male are
primarily status symbols for the Maldivian elite; however,
larger inhabited islands and resort islands have limited
services for transporting people to and from wharves and
airfields. In 1992 there were 691 registered passenger
379 trucks and tractors.
Modern communications are minimal in Maldives. Most
use citizen-band radios on the islands and in boats
, this ch.). Telephone service between Male and the islands
limited. However, most of the resort islands can be
directly by telephone, and administrative atoll offices
linked both to Male and each other by radio-telephone.
Modernization efforts of the government have resulted in a
increase in the number of telephones. The 1984 number of
telephones increased in 1992 to 2,804. There is good
international telephone service through a satellite ground
station in Male.
Data as of August 1994