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Mauritius upgrades airport

Mauritian Prime Minister Navin Ramgoolam has announced that the construction work for the second phase of the passenger terminal development project at the airport in the south of the island will start by July 2009 and is expected to be completed within two years.

The Prime Minister told a parliamentary session here Tuesday night said that the objective was to provide for a passenger handling capacity of around four million people annually.

The work includes the construction of a new passenger terminal with a state-of-the-art technology and ancillary facilities, such as new aircraft parking stands, extension to the current car park and the rehabilitation of part of the current passenger terminal.

”The passenger terminal is saturated and cannot cater satisfactorily for the increase in the flow of passengers. It was designed to accommodate some 750 passengers at peak hours. However, over the past few years, this figure has reached a peak hour passenger of 1,200, entailing bottlenecks at all the processing zones,” Ramgoolam said.

According to him, there is an urgent need to address these weak links in the passenger terminal so as to cater for current traffic, the projected traffic growth and to ensure a satisfactory level of service over time.

He said the Export and Import (EXIM) Bank of China would finance the construction work to the tune of 195 million euros, under a concessionary loan to be made available to Mauritius.

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