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A major expansion drive at Abu Dhabi International Airport will see its annual passenger handling capacity rise from the current 20 million to 23-24 million by the end of this year. This is in line with the airport’s plans to welcome around 55 million passengers by 2030.
About Dh1.5 billion is being invested as part of the Capacity Enhancement Programme which has seen the installation of additional X-Ray machines and new walkways to improve the transfer facilities of passengers.
To reduce the pressures on the existing infrastructure due to rising aircraft movements, authorities are looking at shifting some of the flights from Abu Dhabi International Airport to the neighbouring Al Ain International Airport. This will mostly include flights to the neighbouring GCC countries and the Indian subcontinent.
Recently, the southern runway at the Abu Dhabi International Airport underwent a renovation. After being operational, the airport can now handle 500,000 aircraft movements annually. The upgrade of the existing airport terminal will continue until the new Midfield Terminal is opened in July 2017.
On completion, the sprawling 700,000-square-metre Midfield Terminal will be the largest building in the capital. Around 18,000 square metres will be reserved for retail outlets while 10,000 square metres of space will be available for food and beverage outlets.
Passenger facilities will also include over 27,500 square meters of airline hospitality lounges, a transit hotel, and a heritage and culture museum. The terminal is expected to be connected to a high-speed rail link and the Metro.
The Midfield Terminal will boost the cargo handling facilities of the Abu Dhabi International Airport. Cargo volumes at the airport have been witnessing a steady growth, with 2014 figures suggesting a 17 per cent annual growth.
• Abu Dhabi airport to handle 23 million passengers by this year
• The Midfield Terminal is expected to start its operations in 2017
• Plans to link the terminal to the Metro and rail are in the pipeline
Source: S. Dhar, Special to Properties
The writer is a freelancer