Middle East Airports Continue To Grow
AeroBD | The AERO news Company…Dubai, UAE, Nov. 09, 2015 : Across the Middle East, the region’s airports are expanding, but nothing quite on the scale of development to be seen here in Dubai. Over the next decade, the desert to the northeast of Dubai’s Al Maktoum will blossom four additional runways, ramps and giant new terminals capable of handling 200 million passengers and hundreds of Airbus A380-sized aircraft at any one time.
The Dubai government plans to spend $32 billion on the super project, part of the Dubai World Central economic area development, it announced in September 2014. Emirates Airlines could begin to move its vast operation from Dubai International to Al Maktoum over the next decade in order to grow its vast hub-and-spoke network. The airline is already in the process of establishing its Flight Academy at the airport, close to the Dubai Airshow site. Marking its fifth year of operation in June, Al Maktoum airport is now Dubai’s primary air freight gateway, but the pace of passenger operations has been somewhat slower.
Since passenger traffic began back in October 2013, only a handful of airlines, mostly low-fare carriers, have moved in and many airlines have decided to remain at Dubai International Airport, preferring to operate alongside Emirates. Dubai Airports has decided to invest in the passenger facilities at Al Maktoum, to absorb Dubai’s passenger growth. Improvements to the existing terminal will push capacity from seven million to 26 million. Construction on the upgrade is due to be completed in the first half of 2017.
Meanwhile. down the road in Abu Dhabi, the city’s airport has invested in a second runway and work is well underway on a new midfield terminal, which will push the capacity of the airport—the home base of Etihad—to 45 million people. The new terminal is expected to be 70% complete by the end 2015.
Muscat’s international airport at Seeb has also been undergoing expansion with a new midfield terminal and a second runway, while Kuwait International Airport is planning to develop a new terminal building at the southern end of the facility initially capable of accommodating 13 million passengers year and 25 million passengers later.