The air terminal at Plaisance is seemingly going through more problems than initially thought. Inaugurated back in 2013, on August 30, it had been described in all grandiosity. Now, the Rs 14 billion project is facing all sorts of troubles, including construction defects.
Several construction defects have been observed since the beginning of the year. According to l’Express.mu, the roof is leaky, window panes have been broken, banisters are corroded, but that is not all.
The Airport Terminal Operations Limited (ATOL), a subsidiary of Airports of Mauritius Ltd (AML) had to hire the service of China State Construction Engineering Corporation Ltd for reparation purposes. Furthermore, the warranty period of the building has been extended to an undetermined period of time.
Currently, reparation works are underway. The ramps which are being eaten away by corrosion are being attended to: they are to be galvanised. Part of it that runs to the departure terminal has changed colour already.
Engineers explain that the corrosion is due to the effect of the saline air on the insufficiently-protected metal. Other metal materials, including barriers found at the entry of the departure terminal, have also begun to corrode.
A local contractor has been approached to subject the barriers to sanding, and to hot-dip galvanisation. These processes ought to protect the metals from corrosion and the effect of climate.
As for the leaky roof that causes great troubles during torrential rains, the pressure plaques that are believed to be defective will be replaced. The plaques are placed on the joining of two glass panels of the roof. The AML is performing a complete audit to determine whether other anomalies exist concerning the roof.
Furthermore, technicians have discovered 18 glass panes that have been damaged on the roof. They are being replaced by Chinese workers. Thankfully, the panes are not expected to fall because they are made of two layers of tempered glass. Additionally, a protective layer is found between the two layers.
An engineer from ATOL has affirmed that 18 broken panes from the total of 2,500 do not constitute a dramatic problem. Furthermore, he added that after the reparation process, each plaque is being properly verified.
Another defect affecting the airport terminal lies on its floor: cracks have been detected. Engineers from ATOL explained that the concrete placed by the Chinese constructor has to be removed and substituted by another material.
The works being done are in line with the norms imposed by Mauritian authorities. They will be approved by the firm “Louis Berger Groupe” when they are completed in September.