‘Mini-city’ just for A380s at Dubai airport

June 26th, 2012 - 3:19 pm ICT by IANS  

Dubai, June 26 (IANS) Dubai is set to unveil by the year-end a new airport terminal, which can even pass off as a mini city going by the facilities, exclusively for super jumbo Airbus A380 aircraft.

As many as 20 A380 aircraft can dock all together at the new building, being built at a cost of $3 billion adjacent to Terminal 3, which caters exclusively to Emirates airline and is touted as the largest such facility in the world.

To give a glimpse into the sheer scale of operation, each of these gigantic birds can ferry 853 passengers in a single-class configuration. Emirates, the flag carrier of Dubai, has ordered over 90 such aircraft.

“Concourse 3 will have two luxury hotels, first and business class lounges, a large duty free area, food courts, restaurants and a host of other features,” said Khalifa Suhail Al Zaffin, executive chairman of Dubai World Central that overseas the airport.

“The new terminal will take our capacity to around 75 million passengers. We hope to unveil it in the next few months,” Al Zaffin, whose organisation is mandated to make Dubai an aviation metropolis, told IANS.

Another unique feature will be the automated people mover — a driverless train to ferry passengers between Terminal 3 and Concourse 3. It will also boast the largest deployment of sky trains for people to move across the 11 floors of the terminal.

“Most of the structural work is complete. The work is now on by world-class companies in areas like airport systems, security and communications solutions and the rest of the internal infrastructure,” Al Zaffin said after a site visit.

Among them is Thales, the French defence, aerospace and civilian technology major. In the area of security, for example, it has a provision to control 10,000 access control points and 1,500 surveillance cameras in Terminal 2, which would handle 70 million passengers annually.

“The same ultra-modern communications and security solution are being installed at the new airport terminal to ensure highest quality of safety and security to the operator and passengers,” said Eric Lenseigne, managing director, Thales India.

“For more than 15 years, we have been making some of the world’s major airports a safer place for all with our large-scale integrated systems and services that also meet the evolving needs of operators,” Lenseigne added.

Said Al Zaffin: “Airport security must be ever vigilant. But for passengers, it must also be the least obtrusive. That’s what we have aspired for in Dubai.”

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