Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) reports (28-May-07) its USD7.1
billion redevelopment programme at Abu Dhabi International Airport is progressing well.
Addressing delegates at the Airport Build and Supply Exhibition at Dubai Airport Expo, James Robinson, ADAC Planning Manager, stated major projects were heading toward timely completion.
The programme will allow for phased growth of passenger traffic to beyond 40 million p/a from the current seven million, while cargo capacity will be boosted to 2.5 million tonnes p/a. The project includes construction of a second runway, two new terminals, a state-of-the-art ATC complex, new cargo facilities, an airport free trade zone, retail and maintenance facilities.
On the infrastructural front, work is progressing according to schedule to meet the deadline and three facilities will come on line in 1H08: a third passenger terminal, a second runway, and an ATC tower.
Terminal 3 is an interim facility designed to meet the growth requirements of the national carrier, Etihad Airways. Its eight gates are capable of handling wide-bodied aircraft, and two of them are A380 compatible. Terminal 3 will add another five million to the airport passenger capacity, which now stands at seven million.
The second runway is being built two kms to the north of the existing one. It is a category 3 all weather runway measuring 4,100 m in length and will be capable of handling A380 equipment.
The ATC will enable the airport to handle up to 70 aircraft movements per hr. The structure will be 110 m high and will be an architectural showpiece.
ADAC also plans to have Phase 1 of the airport free zone up and running in Jun-08. The free zone will occupy a built area of over 7 million sqm, offering investors an impressive package of world-class facilities and services.
The creation of a free zone marks a milestone in Abu Dhabi’s plans to establish itself as a business centre. The free zone will take advantage of Abu Dhabi International Airport’s strategic geographical position on the crossroads between the east and the west, and the large-scale economic development of the Emirate.
When the free zone comes on line in mid 2008, expansion and redevelopment of the existing cargo facilities will have been completed, and work on the new cargo facilities will have begun.
The Master plan also caters to the cargo sector. More than 50 hectares have been reserved for new cargo facilities. ADAC will be building three new cargo terminals, two for Etihad Airways, and one for the use of other carriers, with an ultimate combined capacity of around 2.5 million tonnes.
With regards ADAC's flagship facility, the Midfield Terminal, conceptual designs have now been completed and work will commence later this year. The Terminal will initially have over 30 gates, and will expand to over 80 to cope with anticipated growth.
“Our pursuit for improvement is relentless,” said ADAC Chairman and Managing Director Khalifa Al Mazrouei. “It starts with safety and security issues and goes all the way to the length of waiting time at baggage collection, and how long an arriving passenger has to queue for a taxi, through to check-in times, immigration services, lounge, food and beverage and duty-free experiences".
Recently, Abu Dhabi International Airport has witnessed unprecedented increase in passenger traffic, having registered a 25% year-on-year increase in the first quarter of 2007 over the same period last year. Passengers handled by the airport by 1Q07 reached a total of 1.575 million, compared to 1.255 million in 1Q06.
Al Ain International Airport, which is serving the southern region of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi is also emerging as a sought after cargo hub facility. Earlier this month, the Emirates Corporation for Commercial Postal Services (Empost) chose Al Ain International Airport as the home base for their international air cargo operations which will extend to the Indian Subcontinent, the Middle East, and Europe. Empost will be the region’s largest cargo freighter and has plans to expand its fleet to over 50 aircraft by 2012.
About Abu Dhabi Airports Company:
Abu Dhabi Airports Company, ADAC, is a public joint-stock company wholly owned by Abu Dhabi Government. It was incorporated by Emiri Decree number 5, of 04-Mar-06 to spearhead the development of the Emirate's aviation infrastructure.
ADAC has officially taken over the operation and management of Abu Dhabi and Al Ain international Airports, as of 28-Nov-06. Under its mandate will be the re-development and expansion of Abu Dhabi International Airport, which includes the new midfield terminal designed to increase the overall capacity of the airport to 20 million passengers by 2010.