Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport
|Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport|
Aéroport international Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam
The old terminal
|Owner/Operator||Airports of Mauritius Co. Ltd.|
|Hub for||Air Mauritius|
|Elevation AMSL||57 m / 186 ft|
|Coordinates||20°25′48.10″S 57°40′58.88″E / 20.4300278°S 57.6830222°ECoordinates: 20°25′48.10″S 57°40′58.88″E / 20.4300278°S 57.6830222°E|
Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport (IATA: MRU, ICAO: FIMP) is the main international airport in Mauritius. It is located 26 nautical miles (48 km) southeast of the capital city of Port Louis. The airport was previously known as the Plaisance Airport and has direct flights to several destinations in Africa, Asia, Europe and is home to the country's national airline Air Mauritius. Airports of Mauritius Co. Ltd (AML) is the owner and operator of the airport, the Government of Mauritius is the major shareholder of AML.
In 1942, when Mauritius was a Crown colony, the government decided to build a small airport at Plaine Magnien near Mahébourg. The airport was used to import products from the United Kingdom and its colonies, as well as for exports. The airport was used as a military base for the Royal Air Force during World War II. The operations of the civil airport started just after the Second World War which gave a boost to the Mauritian economy.
The first flight to Rodrigues island was made on 10 September 1972, an Air Mauritius flight from Plaisance airport to the Plaine Corail Airport (now Sir Gaëtan Duval Airport) at Rodrigues using a Twin Otter (3B-NAB). Later the Twin Otters were replaced by ATR 42-300 and ATR 42-500 twin turboprops.
Later in 1986, infrastructure works were undertaken to accommodate larger aircraft. Thus, a new terminal was built including airbridges to meet the expected increase in traffic growth, and a car park attached to the new building and customs service for international routes. The new terminal consisted of two floors and could accommodate up to four aircraft simultaneously via airbridges.
A new passenger terminal was inaugurated on 30 August 2013, and became fully operational in September 2013. The structure of the New Airport Terminal is designed after the "Traveller's palm", a tropical plant that grows on Mauritius. It is connected to the existing terminal (scheduled for refurbishment beginning in 2014) and has a capacity of 4 million passengers. Airport Terminal Operations Ltd (ATOL) is responsible for the design, building and operation of the new terminal building.
The new terminal, which cost US$306 million, is in line with the "Maurice Ile Durable" concept. Environmental and ecological aspects taken into consideration include using solar energy collected by photovoltaic cells, recovering rain water, integrating nature to the heart of the building, and including thermo-insulated facades to reduce heat gain. The terminal covers an area of 57,000 square meters and is equipped with five boarding gates with airbridges, including one compatible with the large Airbus A380, check-in desks for departing passengers, immigration counters, and baggage carousels.
Airlines and destinations
Accidents and incidents
28 November 1987 - A South African Airways Boeing 747-200 Combi operating Flight 295 experienced an in-flight fire over the Indian Ocean while en-route to the airport. The plane crashed into the ocean, killing all 159 people on board. The plane's wreckage was discovered over 4,000 meters below the surface of the ocean. The cause of the fire has never been determined.
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