Dubai close to becoming world's No 1 airport: Ahmed

Thriving aviation sector to contribute 32 per cent to Dubai's GDP by 2020

Dubai International Airport is on track to handling more than 70 million passengers this year, moving closer to becoming the world’s No. 1 airport, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of DCAA and Chairman of Dubai Airports, has said.

“We are confident about the airport handling over 70 million passengers in 2014 which will bring us further closer to becoming the world’s number one airport for international passengers,” he said.

“Flight operations at the Dubai International Airport have been restored fully on July 21 following the completion of the runway refurbishment as scheduled. We are confident the completion of the major runway refurbishment programme in our history and full schedule operations ahead of the Eid Al Fitr holidays will bring in a significant surge in air traffic,” he said in the August edition of 'Via Dubai', the official bi-lingual newsletter of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA).

As airlines used bigger aircraft where possible and load factors were higher than usual, the actual reduction in seat and passenger numbers due to the closure of one of the runways was calculated to be less than 26 per cent.

He also added that the next project that will soon become a reality is a new concourse. The Concourse D which will be connected to an existing terminal by automated train is due to open in the first quarter of next year. A trial run is planned to be conducted soon.

The fourth concourse is part of the $7.8 billion expansion programme designed to boost the airport’s capacity to over 100 million passengers annually by 2020. The development of Al Maktoum International Airport with an eventual capacity of 160 million passengers is also progressing in phases.

“We are on the mark in terms of giving a big boost to the aviation industry which we anticipate will contribute 32 per cent to Dubai’s GDP by 2020,” he remarked.