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AfricaMoney | August 20, 2017

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Parking woes no more

Parking woes no more, new hangar soon for Mauritius-bound aircraft

An important addition to the facilities available at the revamped SSR International Airport, the new GAM hangar will be built to standards for Cat 1 cyclonic conditions. (Image: GAM website)

At a time when Mauritius is embarking on a major strategy to develop a strong aviation hub, a green signal for a new hangar at the GAM terminal comes as welcome news indeed for the island economy. An important addition to the facilities available at the revamped SSR International Airport, the hangar will be built to standards for Cat 1 cyclonic conditions.

The board of General Aviation Mauritius Ltd (GAM) has approved the construction and operation of an aircraft hangar and the management of GAM is now finalizing the purchase of the hangar and supporting administrative procedures.

The GAM hangar will provide a number of new business opportunities for both GAM itself and the wider economy. The GAM VVIP terminal has been in operation since December 2008 and has played host to guests travelling on private jets and commercial airliners.

First, the ability to provide for aircraft hangarage will enable the island to attract High Net-worth Individuals (HNIs) and pave the way for increased investments in Mauritius, especially in the hospitality and real estate sectors. Secondly, availability of hangar space also provides opportunities for potential operators to undertake light and heavy maintenance work for business jets, and, in the process create high value added services and job opportunities. Thirdly, helicopter operators will be able to make use of the hangar and its facilities to develop their businesses, especially centered on Mauritius’ reputation as a thriving medical hub in the region.

Overall, the synergies that would arise from the meeting of the aircraft leasing and management capability of Veling, the facilities available at GAM, helicopter and business jet operators in Mauritius and the region together with the hospital services available in Mauritius will provide new business opportunities that will have a huge positive impact on the livelihood of its people.

The hangar, to be purchased from Reid Steel, one of the world’s foremost aircraft hangar specialist construction companies, will be designed to meet the rigors of the airport environment. The proximity of the airport to the sea, the prevailing winds and humidity all act as catalysts for aircraft corrosion, making a hangar a necessity rather than a luxury for planes entering the island economy.

It will be constructed on the land that is already leased from AML and situated within the current premises of GAM. It will have a floor space of around 2,000 square meters and be capable of housing four large business jets at one time. Also, it will have the capacity to accommodate the largest business jet currently in production, the Gulfstream G650, from the second half of 2014, and cater to the next generation Bombardier Global 7000 and Global 8000 from 2017 onwards.


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