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The landing strip and its surroundings at Plaine-Corail, in Rodrigues, are expected to cost nearly Rs 10 billion. The government is in the process of signing an agreement for a loan of USD 184 million, representing approximately Rs 8.4 billion, with the World Bank to realize this project. To this sum, we must add the donation of 16 million euros, or Rs 800 million, granted by the European Union last year.

The 2024/25 budget makes provision for Rs 7.8 billion, i.e. Rs 1.4 billion for the financial year 2024/25, Rs 1.8 billion for 2025/26 and Rs 1.9 billion for 2026/ 27. The rest will be disbursed after these three financial years.

The current 1,286 meter runway allows the landing of small capacity aircraft, such as the Air Mauritius ATR72-500, with a maximum capacity of 72 passengers. However, this length is insufficient to accommodate larger aircraft. To remedy this, a new runway 2,100 meters long and 45 meters wide is planned. This new infrastructure will be able to accommodate Airbus A320neo/A321 or B737 type aircraft, offering between 180 and 220 seats depending on the configuration. Such an improvement is expected to boost tourism and attract more airlines. To date, in addition to Air Mauritius with several daily flights, Air Austral also serves Plaine-Corail once a week.

Tourist arrivals on Rodrigues Island have increased steadily over the past twenty years. They reached a peak of around 78,000 visitors (domestic and international) in 2019, out of a total of 100,000 passenger arrivals. The majority of tourists (around 70%) are Mauritians. 14% come from Reunion Island, 11% from France and the remaining 5% mainly from Europe, Australia and South Africa. Air traffic is peaked from October to May, with December being the busiest month.

“After the reopening of borders in March 2022, following the covid-19 pandemic, Rodrigues saw a sharp increase in travel demand. The objective for 2030, according to the tourism master plan revised in 2022, is to welcome 120,000 passengers. The airport will need to be able to accommodate larger jets. This will reduce travel time, increase cargo transport capacity and attract more direct flights. The expansion will increase the impact of tourism on the island's economy and society. Around 100,000 visitors are expected by 2025 and 120,000 by 2030. Revenues will amount to some $26 million (Rs 1.2 billion) by 2030. 2,600 and 3,000 direct jobs will be created, indicates the World Bank Project Information Document.

The runway extension project, planned for almost ten years, has fallen behind schedule and its cost has increased. According to the 2015/16 budget, the extension of the runway will cost Rs 2.2 billion. However, in the last budget, the cost was reassessed to Rs 7.7 billion. Consequently, the government will have to inject an additional Rs 5.5 billion via Airports of Mauritius Ltd.
As part of this project, a new control tower will also be built, as well as a building for the Plaine-Corail meteorological station. There are also plans to have a quarantine center and a new fire station. In addition, the site will have a large cold room for the storage of perishable products.

Still according to the World Bank, the construction of the new runway will also bring significant benefits to the economy of Rodrigues. According to a 2019 Deloitte study, the new track will boost the agriculture and livestock sectors. This will create around 600 direct jobs and develop the fishing industry.

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