Published: Sep 09, 2014
Source: Khaleej Times

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Al Maktoum Airport eyes 200 million passenger capacity

$32 billion expansion anticipated to be biggest airport project 

Dubai Airports on Monday welcomed the announcement by His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, endorsing the Dh120 billion, or $32 billion, expansion of Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central (DWC) which will ultimately accommodate more than 200 million passengers a year.

The development is anticipated to be the biggest airport project in the world and will be built in two phases. The first phase includes two satellite buildings with a collectively capacity of 120 million passengers annually, accommodate 100 A380 aircraft at any one time and will take between six and eight years to complete. The entire development will cover an area of 56 square kilometres.

More than its size, the new airport’s uniqueness lies in a radically new approach to ensure that the latest technology and efficient processes will cut the time spent completing travel formalities and reduce walking distances, enabling passengers to make fast and efficient connections between hundreds of destinations worldwide.  

The decision follows months of planning by the key  stakeholders in the aviation sector, including Dubai Airports, Dubai Airports Engineering Projects, Emirates airline and dnata,  to ensure that  a design was selected that facilitates the future growth of Dubai’s aviation industry.

With passenger traffic expected to reach almost 100 million at Dubai International by the end of 2020, the further development of DWC will be a vital step towards providing the necessary facilities to accommodate passenger and cargo growth in the decades ahead and pave the way for Emirates to relocate their intercontinental hub operations to DWC by the mid-2020s.

Paul Griffiths, chief executive officer, Dubai Airports, confirmed that the aviation sector was projected to remain a cornerstone of Dubai’s economy, and was expected to support more than 322,000 jobs and contribute 28 per cent of Dubai’s GDP by 2020.

“Our future lies at DWC. The announcement of this AED120b development of DWC is both timely and a strong endorsement of Dubai’s aviation industry. With limited options for further  growth at Dubai International, we are taking that next step to securing our future by building a brand new airport that will not only create the capacity we will need in the coming decades but also provide state of the art facilities that revolutionise the airport experience on an unprecedented scale,” Griffiths added. 

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