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La Mercy Update - August 2008
Thursday, August 28, 2008 | 00:00

La Mercy Update – August 2008

Wednesday 6th August 2008

It is almost a year since the new international airport at La Mercy was issued the green light. Since that time to now the construction has made good progress and the airport is scheduled for completion by the 1st quarter of 2010. The multi billion rand project which has the making of an “aero city” is starting to look more like an airport than a construction site a year later.

With the terminal building construction generally on programme, the slabbing and concrete pouring of the arrivals and departure levels have been completed in June. The concrete pours of the airside corridor on the arrivals and departure levels have also been completed. While the construction is underway the professional teams are currently finalising the structural design including constant consultations with the design teams, architects and service providers in terms of building finishes, signage, way finding systems and lighting.

The construction of the basement surface beds of the multi storey park are well on track with the pile caps, ground beam, columns and shafts almost 80% completed. The design team involved with the construction of the cargo facility recently visited Dubai and Frankfurt to engage in a design workshop to ensure the facility at the La Mercy site is built to specifications and conforms to the requirements to meet the deadline of 2010.

The steelwork for the control tower has been completed together with the steel staircase and foundation work on the tower which has also commenced. The team is currently looking at the office layout and design which will be further consulted with Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS) before it is finally signed off. The slab of the 1st floor of the Fire and Rescue building has been cast, with the construction of the drainage and training facility about to commence. 

The construction of the 3.7km runway and associated taxiways is progressing well with cable ducts details across the runways are in the process of being set out. The designs for the Alpha, Bravo and Charlie aprons have been completed together with 75% of the bulk earth works to the alpha taxiway. At this stage 7 out of the 10 taxiways have been cleared and grubbed of all topsoil.

Sean van der Valk, ACSA Project Manager said, “ While the construction phase of the airport is being accelerated the teams are concurrently finalising some of the specialist areas which include, electrics, IT systems, cargo handling design, baggage handling sortation system and air bridge design.”

Sean also went on to say, “These associated services are crucial to the delivery of the airport. That is essentially why we are running most of the construction phases and specialist areas in tandem. This will assist us to synchronise the various critical path areas with design and development of the entire project.” 

The over 100 park homes which provides office and operational space for over 2300 contractors, subcontractors and service providers, is a hive of activity on a daily basis at the site. As the pace of the construction is gaining momentum by the week, the “construction site” will soon be a world class airport facility.

Material Quantity Equivalent to:
Runway & Taxiways 400 000 m2 100 Soccer Pitches
Terminal Floor Area 103 000 m2 27 Soccer Pitches
Earthworks 5.8 Million m3 2500 Olympic Swimming Pools
Concrete 100 000 m3 50 Olympic Swimming Pools
Structural Steel 4 700 tonnes ½ the Eiffel Tower
Asphalt 230 000 tonnes 35 Km of 4 lane highway

Issued by: Colin Naidoo
Manager: Communications and Brand
Durban International and National Airports
Airports Company South Africa
Cell: 082 8202 744
Email: Colin.Naidoo@airports.co.za

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