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 News - 05-Apr-2013

Mauritius Celebrates Test Fight At New Terminal


Mauritius has recently celebrated its first commercial test flight at the new terminal at Sir Seewoosague Ramgoolam International Airport (SSRIA). The flight was conducted by the Louis Berger Group Inc.


In an effort to promote Mauritius luxury holidays and make them more accessible to customers around the world, the country wants to improve its air links and passenger capacity. The new terminal building will offer millions more in capacity each year. It’s also an important part of the country’s promotion efforts, as it wants to show the world’s major airlines it is open for business and can accommodate their needs.


Louis Berger Group Inc. served as the program manager for this expansion project. They act on behalf of Airport Terminal Operations Ltd., which is a company formed from Aeroports de Paris Management and Airports of Mauritius Limited (AML) with branches in over 50 countries.


As well as conducting the first test flight, Louis Berger has taken responsibility for everything from construction supervision to project management. The new terminal will have the capacity to handle an additional 4 million passengers each year. It is a bold move for this country, which suffered from a stagnant 2012.


Mauritius is determined to reach one million passenger arrivals, and part of its strategy is in making it easier to travel to the country. By offering routes from China, other islands in the Indian Ocean and parts of Africa, Mauritius can extend itself and encourage people to stop off in the country before moving on again.


The new terminal embraced an environmentally sustainable design. To take advantage of Mauritius’s spectacular sunshine views, it invested heavily in solar panels to reduce its carbon footprint.


Diego Rincón, the director and vice president of the Global Aviation business section for Louis Berger, said in a statement, “Since establishing a Mauritian branch in 2010, Louis Berger has expanded its presence in the Indian Ocean and adjacent regions. This project presents an opportunity to contribute to tourism growth and development by leveraging modern, state-of-the-art facilities, and mechanisms to enhance travel to and from the island.”


Earlier in March, the group completed a successful soft opening of the terminal. Before opening to the public, the group is expected to continue to complete trial flights in crafts of various sizes. They are also spending time training the workforce in procedures and how to handle some of the new regulations put in place.


So far, the terminal has been in construction since March 2010. The current schedule, which is expected to be adhered to, will have the first commercial flights entering and leaving Mauritius in the summer of 2013.

Observers expect this new project to yield results in time. They also predict the success of this venture will hinge on the country’s success in other areas of tourism promotion.


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