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La Mercy Update – October 2008
Friday, October 03, 2008 | 00:00

The new airport at La Mercy has already reached a significant milestone when the 1st steel supports for the roof truss have already been placed on the departures slab. This important achievement has made this project more of a reality. With almost less than 2 years to go before the airport is commissioned for operation, the progress on site is really gaining momentum.

The elevated roadway that will separate the arrival and departure levels is very visible and the storm water reticulation has already commenced for the basement of the terminal. The construction of the columns in the arrivals level is about 92% complete while the brickwork has commenced.

The departure level is taking shape with the staging and decking and pouring of concrete having commenced. The terminal airside corridor leading to the air bridges in currently in progress with the construction of the ramps on the northern side already commenced.

Together with this, the multi storey parkade construction is progressing well with the facility being built to cater for 1500 vehicles. The basement level is complete with finishes being carried out while on the upper level the preparation for the surface beds have commenced with about 70% of the engineering work completed. The construction of the roof of the MSP has commenced with the structural steel erection already ahead of program.

With the control tower being the most visible facility if travelling from the north, the construction of the cab of the control tower is complete and is currently being painted together with the steel staircase which is also complete. The Crash Fire Rescue building is tracking well with the steel rook structure almost 90% complete with roof sheeting already in progress. The cargo building has 10 of the 22 columns on slab already been cast with concrete and work on the steel roof in now about 80% complete. The preparation of the surface beds for the cargo handling area has commenced.

The runway and taxiways construction with the lower sub base on the runway has been completed and the upper sub base already commissioned. The construction of the upper layer for the taxiway Alpha is ahead of schedule with the shoulder construction being accelerated to minimise the impact of the rainy season while the work on the other taxiways is also progressing well.

Sean van der Valk, ACSA Project Manager said “ as ACSA we are pleased with the progress and certainly doing all that is possible to ensure our deadlines are met and that we produce a state of the art facility”

Van der Valk continued, “Our specialist teams are busy putting the final touches to the IT network systems, while our structural engineering teams are looking at the baggage handling system and the air bridges of which the design has already commenced”.

Van der Valk also said, “We are working very closely with DWAF and DEAT and the related agencies to ensure we maintain and conform to the conditions of the ROD. ACSA together with the contractor will continue to ensure that all areas of concern on the ROD is complied to”.

As has previously been described this project has some unique features and to add to that there is some interesting information relating to the apron ground lighting:

  • 8800m of runway lighting sleeving has been competed to date.
  • 12000m of graded shoulder sleeving has been completed to date
  • It is 12 months exactly that the airport commenced construction
  • 3865 people were on site during last month with about 553 being visitors


Issued by:  Colin Naidoo
Manager: Communications and Brand
Durban International and National Airports
Airports Company South Africa

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