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The total number of passengers all over the world, including the UAE, is expected to climb to 3.91 billion by 2017. To accommodate the surge, the country’s airports have undertaken expansion projects.
The Abu Dhabi Airports initiated the construction of the Midfield Terminal Complex (MTC), which is sandwiched by the two runways of the Abu Dhabi International Airport. MTC, slated to be completed in 2017, will provide cargo and passenger facilities, restaurants and shops, and is expected to handle 30 million passengers annually. The Midfield Terminal Building (MTB), a key component of MTC, is expected to be 70% finished by the end of this year. Earlier this year, the Abu Dhabi International Airport’s Terminal 1 witnessed several upgrades which included new walkways, aircraft stands and screening machines.
Meanwhile, the Dubai International Airport, which replaced London’s Heathrow Airport as the world’s busiest airport in 2014, has also undergone several expansions, the latest of which is the addition of Concourse D in Terminal 1. Currently in the process of being turned over, it aims to accommodate 90 million passengers per year.
Dubai’s other aviation hub, the Al Maktoum International Airport, is also expanding its existing terminal to be able to handle 26 million passengers every year. This will include giving a facelift to the security screening areas, check-in area, and baggage and immigration halls. Currently, plans are underway for a second runway to be built before 2020. Plans to construct a total of five parallel runways to boost passenger capacity are in the pipeline. This will encourage the shift of general aviation, cargo and cargo freighters to the premises. The overall expansion plan aims to make the airport the world’s biggest, with a capacity to accommodate 160 million passengers and 12 million tonnes of cargo annually.
On the other hand, the Sharjah Airport’s expansion plan, which will include a new terminal, roads, mall and hotel, is currently being reviewed by the government.
* Al Maktoum International Airport plans to build five runways
* Abu Dhabi’s Midfield Terminal Complex to be operational in 2017
* Dubai International Airport’s Concourse D is in turnover stage
Source: Saadiya Ahmad, Special to Properties
The writer is a freelancer