Dubai's Al Maktoum expansion 'completed by Q1 2022'
The expansion of Dubai's Al Maktoum International Airport - to make it the world's biggest - will be completed by the first quarter of 2022, according to a senior official.
Khalifa Al Zaffin, executive chairman, Dubai Aviation City Corporation (DACC), said the expansion will increase the airport's annual passenger capacity from the current five million passengers to 130 million.
In comments published in the July edition of Via Dubai, the official newsletter of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA), he said: "Our current aim for Al Maktoum International Airport is twofold - to attract more airlines to operate from the airport and ease passenger traffic at DXB until such time that Phase 1 of the new airport is ready.
"In that context, AMIA is currently undergoing an expansionary phase that will see its annual passenger handling capacity rise from the current five million to seven million by early 2016," he said.
Last September, it was announced that Dubai is to spend $32 billion expanding Al Maktoum International Airport at Dubai World Central (DWC), making it the world’s largest airport.
Dubai Airports announced that Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, had approved its plan to invest AED120 billion ($32 billion) expanding the emirate’s second airport.
Al Maktoum International Airport at DWC is expected to become the largest in the world and will be developed in two phases.
Phase one will include two satellite buildings which will jointly be able to handle around 120 million passengers annually and accommodate up to 100 A380 superjumbos at any given time.
It is anticipated the airport will ultimately be able to accommodate more than 200 million passengers a year when complete, a quarter more than the previous estimate of 160 million.
The announcement came as passenger traffic continues to grow at Dubai International Airport and is expected to reach almost 100 million by the end of 2020.
Separately, Via Dubai quoted Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, president of DCAA and chairman of Dubai Airports said the aviation's importance will grow significantly in the run up to Expo 2020.
"The UAE has an outstanding aviation infrastructure and globally recognized for seamless travel facilitation. We are developing Al Maktoum International Airport in Dubai World Central (DWC) into the world's biggest airport with an annual capacity of over 220 million passengers. Alongside, we continue to develop the Dubai International Airport which will handle 100 million passengers when the expansion plans get over. Emirates and flydubai have remained in expansion mode," he said.
"It has been rightly said that Dubai is exemplary of the heights that can be reached when governments believe in the role of aviation as a strategic economic growth partner and a powerful driver of social and economic progress," added Sheikh Ahmed.