Dubai adds another billion dollars to airport expansion plan
Dubai International airport announced on Sunday, November 4 the addition of another billion dollars to its expansion plans to accommodate the new Airbus A380 superjumbos.
After national carrier Emirates unveiled orders for 22 Airbus A380 superjumbos and options for 10 more, Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al-Maktoum said the airport expansion costs had been revised to $2.5 billion.
"We did some in depth study of the market and business trends today and the projections for the future and felt that another concourse is needed," Sheikh Mohammad said.
"The cost of the entire expansion project has been revised and will now be to the tune of $2.5 billion," from an original $1.4 billion. The expansion will now include the construction of a third terminal housing two concourses, all of which will be exclusively for Emirates, as well as a cargo mega-terminal.
Construction was expected to begin by early 2002 and be completed by 2006. The cargo terminal will be built in phases and completed by 2018. The two concourses will have a combined 17 dedicated gates to accommodate the A380.
France's Airports de Paris (ADP) signed a contract in May to oversee the expansion of Dubai airport. The new Emirates terminal, designed by ADP, will be in the shape of a giant plane wing almost one kilometer (3,300 feet) long. Dubai, which saw 12.3 million passengers pass through the airport in 2000, expects to handle 30 million passengers by 2010 and 62 million passengers by 2020.
More than 100 airlines were operating almost 400 flights a day in Dubai at the start of this year, a figure expected to double after the new terminal is completed. If growth continues into the second decade, the Gulf city-state plans to build a totally new airport near the free zone of Jebel Ali, 50 kilometers (30 miles) out of town. — (AFP, Dubai)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)