New Dubai airport to open in March next year

Dubai`s newest airport Al Maktoum International is scheduled to begin passenger operations from March next year.

Updated: Jun 05, 2010, 15:22 PM IST

Dubai: Dubai`s newest airport Al Maktoum
International is scheduled to begin passenger operations from
March next year, a newspaper report has said.

Set to open on June 27 for cargo flights, Al Maktoum
International, the centrepiece of the USD 33 billion Dubai
World Central megaproject, is planned to be the world`s
largest airport when it is fully completed.

"The planning date is spring of 2011 so we`re looking
at the end of March for the start of passenger flights," Dubai
World Central vice president for cargo and logistics Andrew
Walsh told Arabian Business.

"Right now, the passenger terminal is in the final stages
of fit-out.

Once we`ve got the cargo terminal open and the operations
are settled, we`ll move into the operational readiness process
for the passenger terminal through the later part of this year
and the early part of next year", Walsh said.

The five-runway airport will eventually be able to handle
160 million passengers a year, up from the previously
projected 120 million, as well as 12 million tonnes of cargo.

As yet, there has been no clarification as to which
carriers will operate from the new passenger terminal, but
Walsh said that the facility itself was probably designed more
for regional carriers.

"It`s an all-bus operation, and there are no jet
bridges," he said.

"It`s a facility that`s about twice the size of Terminal
2 and can handle five to seven million passengers," Walsh is
reported to have said.

He also confirmed that no airlines would be forced to
shift current operations from Dubai International Airport to
the Jebel Ali project.

PTI