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Title: Environmental impact assessment for the dredging of a seaplane strip at Dh. Kudahuvadhoo airport
Authors: Sandcays
Keywords: Legislative and regulatory consideration
Project description
Project alternatives
Existing environment
Geography and geomorphology
Water quality
Socio-economic environment
Natural hazard vulnerability
Environmental impacts
Marine environment
Operational impacts
Mitigation measures
Environmental monitoring
Issue Date: Dec-2018
Publisher: Dhaalu Airport Holdings
Citation: Sandcays. (2018). Environmental impact assessment for the dredging of a seaplane strip at Dh. Kudahuvadhoo airport. Male': Maldives
Abstract: Dhaalu Airport Holdings Pvt. Ltd. proposes to develop its seaplane operations as part of the Domestic Airport which has been recently opened after reclaiming 62.81hectares of land from the southern lagoon of Kudahuvadhoo, Dhaalu Atoll. The seaplane runway is a 60m x1000m and the taxiway is 30mx450m rectangular strips of lagoon dredged in the shallow area between Kudahuvadhoo and recently reclaimed airstrip. A seaplane terminal is also proposed to be developed. Kudahuvadhoo Island is located on the southern side of Dh. Atoll on geographic coordinates of 72.893716 longitude and 2.671707 latitudes having a land area of 71.2Hectares. The proposed seaplane facility at Dhaalu Airport will be subject to the key legal instruments including Environmental Protection and Preservation Act (No. 4/93), Civil Aviation Act (No. 2/2001) of Maldives. Thus, it must satisfy the EIA process according to the EIA Regulations and get approval as well as conform to the Dredging and Reclamation Regulation as well as civil aviation standards and safety measures. The construction work involves the main activities to be carried out including dredging and reclamation, shore protection measures, levelling of the land, development of paved roads, terminal building, pontoon jetties and other related infrastructure. All utilities including water, sewerage, waste management, fuel services and electricity are currently in place and additional facilities would not be required. The main activity that will be involved with the development of this project in the marine environment is dredging of the shallow lagoon and disposal of dredge material at the project site. The proposed dredging takes place between already reclaimed areas devoid of any coral. Therefore, there would be negligible or few minor negative impacts on the reef areas of Kudahuvadhoo. However, there would be possible shoaling of dredged areas and water quality deterioration in the proposed seaplane taxiway and part of the seaplane runway due to stagnation. Aircraft operation will cause noise pollution due to aircraft or its components, during various phases of a flight: on the ground while parked such as auxiliary power units; while taxiing; on run-up from propeller and jet exhaust during take-off; underneath and lateral to departure and arrival paths; over-flying while en-route or during landing time. However, as discussed in the airport EIA, noise sensitive places such as schools and hospitals are already at considerable distance and future developments would also take this into consideration. Owing to the intermittent nature of aircraft noise due to low traffic, it is not considered to be of significance even with the addition of the seaplane operations.A detailed environmental monitoring programme has been included in the EIA for Airport development, which is sufficient to cover the proposed operations. Therefore, the programme has been revised and included in this EIA. The overall environmental impacts of the project assessed using appropriate matrices, professional experience/judgement and the results obtained on existing situation of Kudahuvadhoo indicated that the proposed project has net positive impact compared to a few (mostly cumulative) negative environmental impacts. Given that the project has major socio-economic benefits although there would be some negative environmental impacts, it is recommended to allow the project to proceed as proposed.
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