Dubai airport’s third terminal to open Oct 14August 20th, 2008 - 7:34 pm ICT by IANS
Dubai, Aug 20 (IANS) The third terminal at the Dubai International Airport will start operating in a phased manner from Oct 14 this year, boosting the city’s economic progress, it was announced Wednesday.The soft opening of Terminal 3 will be implemented in four phases to ensure that systems and processes are working to the highest standards of efficiency, enabling customers to make their way through the facility as easily and speedily as possible, according to a statement issued by Dubai Airports.
“Terminal 3 and the associated development represent a much needed expansion of Dubai’s aviation infrastructure,” Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, president of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and chairman of Dubai Airports, said in the statement.
“The new facility will play an important role in supporting Dubai’s economic progress, and reaffirm the city’s image as an emerging global aviation hub,” he added.
The new terminal will be dedicated to the Dubai-based Emirates airline especially to serve its newly acquired fleet of A380 superjumbos.
The $4.5-billion expansion, which also includes two airside facilities, will have 25 gates specifically designed for the superjumbo for twin deck embarking and disembarking.
The second airside facility will be dedicated to the A380 and will be ready in 2009, according to the statement.
By the end of 2008, Dubai International will have a total of seven gates for the A380.
Upon completion of the ongoing expansion, Dubai International will have 25 gates for the A380, which will make Dubai airport the world’s largest in terms of A380 dedicated facilities.
Then new terminal, which has been built totally underground, has a built-up area of approximately 515,000 square metres.
The departure and arrival halls are located 20 metres below the apron and taxiways.
There will be 220 new check-in counters, 14 baggage belts, restaurants, first and business class lounges and 2,600 underground parking spaces.
There will be a total of 157 elevators, 97 escalators and 82 moving walkways or travelators.
The total length of the baggage belt is 90 km and it will handle around 15,000 items of baggage per hour.
Commenting on the phased opening of the new terminal, Dubai Airports chief executive Paul Griffiths said: “We want to make absolutely sure that all the systems and processes at Terminal 3 are working smoothly and that customers experience nothing short of world-class facilities and service when they use the new Terminal.”
He added that airport authorities were conducting a series of operational readiness trials at Terminal 3 and its airside facility as a run-up to the soft opening in October.
Dubai International Airport handled 34.34 million passengers in 2007 and is targetting 40 million by the end of this year 2008.
As of June 2008, the airport served over 100,000 passengers per day, and 120 airlines to over 205 destinations.