By Shweta Jain, Senior Reporter www.gulfnews.com
Singapore: The passenger terminal at Dubai’s new airport — Dubai World Central-Al Maktoum International, will now open for business with private and corporate jets next year rather than for full service carriers, according to Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports, the operator of DWC and Dubai International.
“That’s likely to be the situation that we will open the facility initially for the general aviation community. We are now licensed to accommodate private jets at Dubai World Central airport,” Griffiths told Gulf News yesterday on the sidelines of the IATA annual general meeting.
He added that while no other deals have yet been signed with any corporate or private jet operators, in one major deal, Al Futtaim is building a corporate jet facility at the new airport.
Al Futtaim Services Company signed a contract with DWC in December last year under which Al Futtaim, in a joint venture with a leading business jet operator in Europe, will provide a wide range of general aviation services at Dubai’s new airport.
“We are looking to advance the plans for general aviation at DWC. We would like to be able to open the doors for private and corporate jets before then. That is because clearly the congestion at Dubai International is getting to the stage where that market, which is very time sensitive, needs some predictability,” Griffiths said.
Asked about the exact opening period for the airport’s passenger terminal next year, he said: “We don’t have an exact timeline for them to start operating next year from the new airport at the moment. But I imagine we will have the final decision about the exact date by October this year,” adding that the 2012 opening is on track for the passenger terminal at DWC.
The airport body, meanwhile, is in the process of making recruitments for things like fire service and the engineering support teams to be able to open that, he said.
He also pointed out that at the DWC airport at the moment, even though it has got only one runway, the “time slots are much more widely available” than they are at Dubai International because of the growth of the airlines. “We have got around 150 airlines operating from Dubai International currently. So we have got to find the capacity from somewhere,” he said.