Al Ain International Airport, which serves Abu Dhabi’s Eastern Region, is not only a vibrant international airport with full facilities and an ideal base for low-cost and low-fare carriers, it is also a sought- after cargo hub facility. Early in 2007, the Emirates Corporation for Commercial Postal Services (Empost) chose the airport as the home base for their international air cargo operations.
Dubai International Airport (DIA) has grown from a regional airport into a major international aviation hub, experiencing a rapid increase in the number of passenger, freight and aircraft movements over the past decade. From 1997 to 2006, passenger throughput rose by 316 per cent and in 2006 the airport handled 28.7 million passengers, with 31.7 million expected in 2007, and up to 60 million passengers, including 15 million tourists, expected by 2010. Dubai Duty Free's (DDF) sales in the first half of 2007 climbed 27 per cent to Dh 1.5 billion (US$411 million) as the rise in air travellers helped push retail sales higher.
Dubai International Airport handled 28.7 million passengers in 2006, with 31.7 million expected in 2007.
Growing at an average of over 15 per cent per year since 2002, DIA has jumped from thirtieth position on the list of the world's busiest airports five years ago to among the top ten in 2007. To cope with this rapid growth, DIA is undergoing a massive Dh16.5 billion (US$4.5 billion) expansion. This includes the construction of a third terminal, two additional concourses, a second runway and a huge cargo terminal.
Terminal 3, a multi-level underground structure and Concourse 2, which will be directly connected to Terminal 3, will be open for business in the summer of 2008. Concourse 2 is dedicated exclusively to Emirates and features five special aerobridges capable of handling the forthcoming Airbus A380 super jumbos. Work has also begun on lengthening the airport’s second runway, and on Concourse 3, a scaled down version of Concourse 2, which has been added to the plans to accommodate additional A380s. Concourse 3 is scheduled to open in 2009.
The expansion project also involves the construction of a huge cargo terminal with 1.4 million tonnes annual capacity, taking the
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