Passenger terminal to be ready by early 2012

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By Abdul Basit  www.khaleejtimes.com

DUBAI — Dubai’s new Al Maktoum International Airport is expected to open its passenger terminal early next year, according to Khalifa Al Zaffin, the executive chairman of Dubai World Central, or DWC.

Visitors tour the Dubai Airshow on November 14, 2011. -Reuters
Visitors tour the Dubai Airshow on November 14, 2011. -Reuters

An investment of around Dh4 billion is expected to be made for Al Maktoum Airport and Dh26 billion for the expansion of Dubai International Airport by 2020, Al Zaffin told reporters on Sunday.

The passenger terminal at Al Maktoum International will be ready in two months, he said.

Recently, it was reported that Dubai’s first low-cost carrier, flydubai, will soon move to DWC. Al Zaffin said it was difficult to give any date now.

Regarding the operations of other airlines out of the new airport he said: “We cannot force airlines to go to Jebel Ali.”

Last week, it was announced that Dh1 billion had been allocated for the relocation of the 2013 edition of the Dubai Airshow to DWC.

The new venue will encompass a larger area than the current facility and will consist of a grand reception building, two large exhibition halls and static display areas, which will offer more space to accommodate additional aircraft. In addition to this, the investment will also cover the start of the first phase of the development of the DWC aviation district, which could exceed Dh1 billion, Al Zaffin said.

DWC is one of the most ambitious projects of its kind in the world, comprising the new Al Maktoum International Airport, set to be the world’s largest in volume and size upon completion, and the adjacent specialised free zones focused on logistics sectors and aviation industries. Early this year, it was opened to limited passenger traffic. Dubai Airports, which owns and manages operations of Dubai International and the new airport, said the new facility initially opened to receive helicopter and passenger aircraft with no more than 60 people on board.

Cargo flights

Meanwhile, freighter service is growing fast at DWC and a total 40 cargo airlines are operating out of Jebel Ali, Dubai Aviation City Corporation chief operating officer Rashed Buqara’a told Khaleej Times at the event. The cargo terminal is operating 160 weekly flights, he added.

Al Zaffin, regarding Emirates SkyCargo operations from Jebel Ali, said it will take time as “we need to build        more buildings.” In June 2010, Rus Aviation, Skyline and Aerospace Consortium launched inaugural cargo flights from the new airport. More info

abdulbasit@khaleejtimes.com

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