A global aviation hub in the making

Posted: 16 July 2009 | His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President, Dubai Civil Aviation Authority; Chairman, Dubai Airports, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline & Group | No comments yet

Dubai’s strategic plan for 2015 lays specific emphasis on travel and tourism, trade and transportation and logistics, among others, as highly conducive sectors for future economic growth. The value of investments in Dubai’s tourism, hospitality, leisure, entertainment and real estate projects over the next five to seven years is estimated to be approximately US$ 365 billion.

Dubai’s strategic plan for 2015 lays specific emphasis on travel and tourism, trade and transportation and logistics, among others, as highly conducive sectors for future economic growth.

The value of investments in Dubai’s tourism, hospitality, leisure, entertainment and real estate projects over the next five to seven years is estimated to be approximately US$ 365 billion.

As a result of these developments, the number of visitors to Dubai, as well as the city’s resident population, will rise over the next few years and Dubai Airports is proud to have been the catalyst that has helped lift this amazing Emirate to greater heights and elevated this wonderful city into a major force in world aviation.

One of the major achievements in 2008 was the inauguration of Terminal 3, which marked an important milestone in the Middle East’s aviation history. It was opened successfully and on time thanks to the team spirit among the staff of Dubai Airports, Emirates Airline and Dubai Duty Free, and good cooperation with our strategic partners, namely the Police, Customs and Immigration. This massive project has not only put Dubai before the world, it also reflects the growing importance and the pivotal role that the city plays as the gateway that connects economies and cultures together.

Dubai’s open skies policy, that sees 123 airlines pass through one of the world’s busiest airports, has not only enabled us to keep pace with the needs of a dynamic industry, it has also spurred tourism, revitalised trade and stimulated investments.

Dubai International

Dubai International has also maintained its position as the aviation and cargo centre of the Middle East – proof that it is reclaiming its rightful place as a global leader.

Defying a continuing downward trend in international travel worldwide, passenger traffic at Dubai International passed the 9.5 million mark in the first quarter of this year, registering an increase of two percent over the corresponding period in 2008. This makes Dubai International the only airport, among the world’s top ten busiest airports by international passengers, to show positive growth both in the last quarter of 2008 and the first quarter of 2009.

The airport handled a total of 9,529,550 passengers from January to March this year, as compared to 9,341,270 in the first quarter of 2008. January was the busiest month with 3.3 million passengers, a year-on-year increase of six percent.

Terminal 2 has also completed a major refurbishment to enhance its operations and has increased its capacity for both passengers and cargo by 50 percent. It now has the capacity to handle five million passengers annually.

The overall makeover of the terminal extended the terminal’s check-in and boarding facilities, revitalised the interior and exterior décor and has increased the dining options thus giving the customers an enhanced travelling experience. Queuing time has speeded up for departing passengers with the extension of the check-in area, where counters have increased from 22 to 36.

Terminal 2 is considered to be quite user-friendly as it has very easy access to and from a huge car park, catering to approximately 1040 vehicles with a very short curb to seat distance. The distance to get to departures or the duty free, and the bus rides to and from the terminal and the plane are quite short. The fact that it is located on only one floor makes it a preference amongst passengers with special needs.

It has seen tremendous growth over the past decade of its operation, and the continued growth is inevitable. At present 63 airlines operate out of Terminal 2 with 25 scheduled airlines.

Dubai World Central – Al Maktoum International

The Dubai Government’s single largest urban land development project, Dubai World Central (DWC) will go live in its first phase of operation when DWC-Al Maktoum International Airport opens in June 2010.

At the airport, the construction of the first of its 16 cargo terminals has been completed, well on its way to achieving the project’s ultimate goal of having an annual cargo capacity of 12 million tonnes. With a capacity of 200,000 tonnes and spread over 41,000 square metres of built up area, the terminal’s capacity can be expanded to 600,000 tonnes if required. The first passenger terminal is 80% complete, with MEP works ongoing.

This terminal will have an eventual capacity of seven million passengers, with the airport’s ultimate capacity being 160 million annually. Another major achievement is the construction of the Middle East’s tallest free standing Air Traffic Control (ATC) tower, which has been completed. Standing at 91 metres, the ATC facility also includes a separate technical block of 6,000 square metres, which will house offices, operations, technical rooms, flight simulators and a meteor observation cabin. In addition, the facility has an airside / landside interface with secured access to airside, offering air traffic controllers the ability to handle multiple airborne airplanes as well as on-ground aircraft.

Al Maktoum International will provide passengers with an unrivalled travelling experience and cargo operators with state-of-the-art technology and facilities, which will enable them to grow and excel in their business. It will be a key constituent for the economic development of both Dubai and the region.

Executive Jet Centre

The Executive Jet Centre will be one of the biggest in the world and will function as a one-stop centre for business jet operations, including leasing and chartering of business jets, ground support equipment maintenance, business jet maintenance, aviation fuel, aircraft catering, flight planning, land clearances and special VIP lounges.

Currently being designed with a handling capacity in excess of 100,000 aircraft movements a year, the Executive Flight Centre is due for completion in 2008. To include a dedicated duty-free, business centre, fitness room, food outlets and crew rest areas, the Executive Flight Centre will also feature a specific area for executive helicopter and heli-taxi operations.

One of the advantages of the Executive Flight Centre is that it is directly connected to a landside secured heliport, that will enable VIP passengers to fly their helicopters from the centre to their final destination, such The Executive Flight Centre will also boast specific areas for maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) and aircraft hangars.

Customers will be able to lease a plot for one hanger, or a series of plots attached together to accommodate multiple aircraft.

The construction for the first phase components of Al Maktoum International has already commenced on site and is well under progress to guarantee that the initial aircraft operations commence during 2009.

Dubai Cargo Village

Dubai Cargo Village (DCV) at Dubai International has seen throughput growth during the first quarter. The total freight handled between January and March this year reached 425,172 tonnes, as compared to 423,291 tonnes in the first quarter of 2008. March was the busiest month for cargo, with over 159,301 tonnes of cargo, up nearly 3.5 percent over the corresponding period in 2008.

When it opened in 1991, DCV was ranked 61 internationally, but in the past one and a half decades it has made it to the top 10. Cargo throughput at the facility has always been almost to capacity since its opening and in 1995 DCV had to carry out its first expansion project after cargo volume crossed the 250,000 tonnes annual mark.

Considering growth forecasts, which indicate that additional major cargo handling facilities will be required in order to satisfy the rising demands, the AED 1 billion first stage of the Cargo Mega Terminal has been completed and partly opened. The Mega Terminal will be able to handle an estimated 2.8 million tonnes of freight annually once fully operational.

The phased expansion project for the facility is already underway and with cargo movement through Dubai on the increase, the facility is expected to make it to the world’s top five cargo centres within the next few years.

By the time the 16 proposed cargo terminals at Dubai World Central – Al Maktoum International are complete and operational, Dubai will be at the top of the world’s cargo and logistics industry both in terms of throughput and capacity.

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