Operating to VRMM
Pre-planning is essential when you conduct GA aircraft operations to the Maldives. There are many important factors to consider in terms of landing permits, aircraft parking, and cabotage. When you apply for Maldives permits, it’s best to allow 4-5 days of lead time and to coordinate closely with your ground handler
The following is an overview of what you need to know when operating to the Maldives:
1. Airport slots, and landing permits
Velana International Airport and Gan International Airport – require airport slots to be obtained prior to landing permits being issued. You can check this via your Ground Handler and this only takes less than a day. Be advised that during the December – January high season, Velana International Airport (VRMM) may be congested, and aircraft parking may be limited. Notices to airmen, especially for VRMM, will usually state that only short-term parking – for example a drop-and-go – is permitted. This can introduce an additional level of complexity to the trip, particularly for charter operations close to crew duty time limits.
2. Overflight permits
Permits are required for all overflights of the Maldives, and official lead time is 2-3 business days for private non-revenue and for charter (non-scheduled commercial) flights. Permits can usually be processed with less notice (a minimum of one business days is recommended for short-notice permits), but this is at the discretion of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). Be aware that CAA is particular regarding departure and destination points. Any change to a departure/destination point, even if it’s within the same country, requires a revision of your overflight permit. Permit revisions are always required for changes of origin/destination, changes in schedule – if outside the +/- 72-hour permit window – and route changes.
3. Maldives landing permits
Official lead times are 5-7 for GA operations. Short-notice and emergency permit requests may be accommodated at CAA’s discretion. In practice landing permits can often be obtained within two to three days, after airport slots/parking are confirmed. Maldivian permits are valid for +/- 72 hours and revisions are required for:
· change in origin
· change in departure/arrival time when outside the 72-hour permit window
· change in arrival airport
· route changes
At least 24 hours’ notice is needed for permit revisions. Note that CAA operating hours are Sunday-Thursday, 0800-1600 local, and CAA is closed holidays (including New Year’s, and other government holidays) and weekends. Emergency permits may be processed during CAA’s official closed hours; however, this is at discretion of CAA.
4. Permit documentation
Aircraft documents are not needed for landing permits. With a landing permit request, you’ll need to provide full schedule, purpose of flight, crew/passenger No. for each leg , Aircraft Type, Registration , Operator name, Billing address .You cannot submit “to be advised” schedules with your landing permit application as CAA will not process it.
5. Cabotage rules is strictly enforced
Both private non-revenue and charter operations to the Maldives are subject to cabotage rules/restrictions, and CAA pays close attention. If, in a landing permit request, the number of passengers/crew members differs per leg, special permission may be required from CAA, with approval/disapproval at their discretion.
6. CIP/VIP Lounge
Passengers who wishes to use the VIP/CIP
facility in both VRMM and VRMG should send details (Passenger name, passport
number and nationality) 24 hours prior to arrival. This is a mandatory step, as
the VIP approval is obtained from VIP Lounge and Immigration / Customs as well.
CIP Lounge is situated in between the international arrival terminal and the domestic terminal. This is the perfect option for GA operators, as clients booked to the lounge can enjoy the lounge facilities ( Refreshments , Free Wifi , Business Center , Rest Rooms , Dedicated Duty Free zone , Smoking Lounge , Hotel staff Meet and Greet area ) while the custom and immigration clearance is on going.
7. Aircraft Disinsection
Disinsection of aircraft arriving from countries
where yellow fever and malaria is prevalent and endemic is a must. All
International flights operating in to Maldives from/via airports situated in
countries which have been indicated by World Health Organization WHO as Malaria
or Yellow fever endemic, are required to disinsect the aircraft flight deck ,
cargo compartments, cargo containers etc , using methods approved by WHO. The empty
canisters needs to be given to the handling agent on arrival (they will hand
over this to the Port Health). Failing to do so, will result in a fine of MRF
1000.00 (USD 64.84) from HPA (Health Protection Agency)
8. VISA / Gendec.
GA operators , Gendec is a strict requirement and all details must as per the
passport of the Crew/Passenger . ( Crew will be stamped in the passport
As part of the Ministry of Economic Development, Maldives Immigration is responsible for the Immigration control throughout the Maldives .
30 days Free Tourist VISA is applicable to all nationalities, upon arrival to the Immigration counter with minimum 06 month Valid , Machine Readable passport.
For GA travel to the Maldives, it’s best to provide a minimum of a 5 days’ notice in order to ensure that permits and all necessary arrangements are in place. While short-notice permits are often possible, last-minute trip approvals is at CAA discretion
If you have any questions about this article or would like assistance planning your next trip to the Maldives, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org