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Dubai International Airport Expansion On Track

by Lorys Charalambous,, Cyprus

07 August 2012

Dubai International Airport achieved a new monthly record in June for the number of passengers the facility handled, as operator Dubai Airports undertakes a massive capacity expansion programme.

Dubai International handled a total of 4.715 million passengers in June, against the 4.065m level recorded in June 2011. During the first half, average monthly passenger traffic stood at 4.65m. Year-to-date traffic reached 27.93m, up 13.7% from the 24.57m level recorded for the corresponding period in 2011. In 2011, the airport was the thirteenth busiest in terms of passenger movements, but statistics for the first four months of 2012 show the airport has become the world's ninth busiest.

Aircraft movements in June totalled 27,428 up 5.1% from 26,101 registered during the corresponding period in 2011, providing evidence that load factors have improved. Year to date aircraft movements totalled 170,249, an increase of 6.8% compared with 159,372 recorded during the first half of 2011.

During the first half of 2012, air cargo volumes rose to 1.086m tonnes compared with 1.062m tonnes during the same period in 2011, a lesser increase of 2.2%. In June, Dubai International handled a total of 194,992 tonnes of freight compared with 183,365 tonnes in June 2011, an increase of 6.3%.

In 2011, a USD7.8bn airspace expansion programme was unveiled, to boost capacity at Dubai International Airport from targeted traffic of 60 million passengers in 2012, to 90 million passengers per year by 2018. A critical component of the plan is the addition of a third concourse, due to be completed at the end of 2012, which will boost capacity to 75 million passengers.

Commenting on the statistics, Paul Griffiths, the Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Airports, said: “Our record first half had some interesting story lines, highlighted by the launch of 12 new routes, the addition of four new airlines and a surge in traffic on routes to Saudi Arabia, USA, Qatar and Australia. We are on track to meet the annual projected traffic of 56.5 million passengers, which will bring us very close to Dubai International’s operational capacity of 60 million passengers per annum. The addition of Concourse 3 during the first quarter of 2013 is well timed to boost our capacity to 75 million while upping the game on our already high levels of customer service.”

To achieve further expansion, Dubai Airports is also to commission the construction of additional terminal space and concourse areas comprising an extra 675,000 square metres of floor space - twice the size of London Heathrow Terminal 5. This includes the expansion of Terminal 2 and the construction of a new concourse - Concourse 4 - which will be connected to Terminal 1 to facilitate check-in and baggage servicing.

Following the completion of Dubai International's expansion, work will commence on Phase 2 of Al Maktoum International Airport from 2018 to 2023, with initial capacity set at 80 million passengers per year. Once fully completed, the airport will be the world’s largest with five runways and capacity for 160 million passengers and 12 million tonnes of cargo annually. Substantial transport improvements between the two facilities will establish a complementary relationship between the airports as part of the government's plans to establish Dubai as a world-leading aviation hub.

TAGS: aviation | Dubai

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