This new facility with a total area of 57,000 square metres will cater for up to 4.5 million passengers a year, thus doubling the capacity of the country’s international airport. The terminal was inaugurated by the Prime Minister of Mauritius, Dr Navinchandra Ramgoolam and will support the country in addressing issues related to the airport complex, which is the only tourist gateway connecting Mauritius with the rest of the world.
Inspired by the Ravenala madagascariensis, commonly known as the traveller’s tree, this industrial facility was developed to meet environmental standards. The project has taken three years to complete with investment amounting to USD305 million by the Government of Mauritius with the support of the China Exim Bank. The development, design, construction and operation of the new passenger terminal have been made possible through the establishment of a Mauritian company, Airport Terminal Operations Limited (ATOL), born from a partnership between the State of Mauritius via Airports of Mauritius Co. Ltd (AML) and Aéroports de Paris Management (ADPM), a subsidiary of Aéroports de Paris (ADP) Group.
The airport sector contributes about 15% to the country’s gross domestic product and has created more than 7,000 jobs in Mauritius. Serge Petit, Chief Executive Officer of AML, welcomed the event and expressed his pride in the successful completion of this major project for Mauritius. “With an overall investment exceeding MUR14 billion in the construction of the new terminal with scope to double existing capacity, the resurfacing and extension of the runway and the construction of an emergency runway/parallel taxiway the SSR International Airport can now accommodate large aircrafts,” he said. “That will place the airport of Mauritius among the best in Africa and in the category of airports in the world handling 2 to 5 million passengers.”
Bruno Mazurkiewicz, Chief Executive Officer of ATOL, said, “In the current context where Mauritius is positioning itself as a transit platform, it is more than ever necessary to anticipate the needs of passengers and airlines, and this implies improving the quality of services. Leveraging the expertise of Aéroports de Paris Group, ATOL will pursue its strategy to develop its passenger-handling capacity and improve the quality of services provided to airlines, partners, passengers and the general public.”
The new terminal has 5 new docking stations, in addition to the 3 existing ones and 7 passenger boarding bridges for simultaneous handling of 6 wide-bodied aircraft. At peak times, the terminal can handle up to 14 flight departures and arrivals. The new parking area has room for a total of more than 600 vehicles and the raised access road to the terminal has 2 separate lanes to allow greater fluidity in the dropping off of passengers travelling to the airport by car or by bus. The new terminal has a modern and bright atmosphere and is designed for the convenience of passengers. This industrial facility is distinguished by both the quantity and quality of facilities available: the upgrading of the existing infrastructure includes passenger drop-off areas on the raised access road, the timeliness of services, baggage-handling as well as safety and security systems.
The preparation of the new facilities engaged the involvement of all airport stakeholders and enabled the planning of operational tests as well as staff training ahead of the transfer of 17 airlines serving more than 35 destinations worldwide.
The official ceremony
Members of the Government, foreign delegations, distinguished guests and airport stakeholders were invited to the inauguration of the new terminal which, for the evening, staged a setting evocative of the world of travels.
For the occasion, the arrival lounge and passport control area have been transformed to accommodate guests attending the official ceremony. A commemorative sculpture was unveiled by the Prime Minister of Mauritius. This piece of art sculpted in glass and metal by the Mauritian artist, Nirmal Hurry, symbolises the materials used to build the terminal. The sculpture recalls the silhouette of Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam, who laid the foundations for the economic development of Mauritius.
The official ceremony was followed by a show especially created for the occasion by event company, Move for Art. The ‘Du ciel à la terre’ (From sky to land) concept was the main thread of the 10-minute show bringing together more than 50 Mauritian and international artists, which took the audience on an emotional journey into the world of travels through various tableaux evoking encounters, taking off and intuition.
A modern and evocative light show and sound design enhanced the performance of the artists, with scenes depicting the different trades that constitute the world of airports and passengers, as well as interactive scenography using video projections. The costumes were custom-made for the show, which also included wonderful choreography.
• USD 305 millions: the agreed overall investment with support of the Government of Mauritius & the Exim Bank of China
• 4.5 million : the total passenger capacity of the new terminal
• 7: the number of passenger boarding bridges providing for simultaneous handling of large carriers, including the A380 or Dreamliner.
• 6: the number of baggage carousels in the delivery room
• 52: the number of international check-in counters
• 14,000: the weight, in tonnes, of elements required to erect the imposing steel structure of the new terminal. This figure is one and a half times the weight of the Eiffel Tower.
• 56,900: the total surface area, in square metres, of the new terminal