Al Maktoum International Airport at Dubai World Central (DWC), Dubai’s second airport, originally planned to accommodate 160 million passengers when complete, will see its development speeded up dramatically if Dubai’s bid to host World Expo 2020 is successful.
Dubai International Airport
Next week’s Dubai Airshow, running from November 17 to 21, is set to provide yet more evidence of the soaring ambitions of the Gulf region’s air carriers, and Boeing’s new 777X twinjet seems set to be the main beneficiary of their relentless fleet expansion plans.
Business aviation is set to make a strong showing at next month’s Dubai Airshow, with the sector expected to account for as many as 50 of the 150 aircraft anticipated on the static display and around 220 of the exhibiting companies. In addition to all the main airframers, bizav service providers such as Jet Aviation, ExecuJet Aviation, Royal Jet and Jetex are booked to exhibit at the event.
Cargo carrier UPS has begun installing new systems in its aircraft to help contain intense fires such as the one that brought down UPS Flight 6, a Boeing 747-400 freighter, on Sept. 3, 2010, in Dubai. The UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) issued its final report on the crash on July 24. The report suggests that a shipment of lithium batteries possibly caught fire and led to the fatal crash.
Fast-growing Bahrain International Airport (BIA) is expanding its present terminal by 50 percent to accommodate 13.5 million passengers. The $1 billion expansion project will provide an additional terminal area of 90,000 sq m and 10,000 sq m of retail space. Construction of the new BIA terminal is scheduled to start at the end 2014 with Phase 1 to be completed by the second quarter of 2016.
The General Civil Aviation Authority of the United Arab Emirates on June 4 announced plans to add two routes between the UAE and Bahrain, bringing the total number to three, to increase system capacity and improve traffic flow. No implementation date was announced for the new routes, which were created in partnership with the Dubai Foundation for Air Navigation Services.
Dubai International Airport (DXB) is to close both runways over a period of almost three months next year in a major refurbishment program that will lead to the diversion of scheduled passenger flights, as well as all Emirates SkyCargo aircraft, to the new Dubai World Central Airport (DWC). The work at one of the world’s busiest intercontinental hubs is due to take 80 days and will start on May 1 next year.
A new Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) aviation study predicts that the Persian Gulf region will see 250 million passengers using its airports each year by 2020 and that annual Middle East aircraft movements will reach 2.3 million five years later, when the number of people living within range of a single flight reaches some 7 billion. The study, titled “The World Via Gulf” and published for Dubai’s The Airport Show, scheduled to take place from May 6 to 8 in Dubai, concludes that the region’s aviation industry will create 294,000 jobs over the next two decades.
The Middle East presents plenty of opportunity for business aviation growth, and at last month’s Abu Dhabi Air Expo businesses reported that their investment in the region–and beyond–is paying dividends.
The withdrawal of Kingfisher Airlines’ domestic airport slots and international flying rights by India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation on February 25 could make a phased restart of the carrier even more challenging. Meanwhile, authorities have de-registered 13 of the 37 aircraft parked in India, but airports haven’t allowed lessors to claim their assets until Kingfisher pays pending dues totaling $72 million.
“[Kingfisher has] to give some guarantee [to pay], said Airports Authority of India chairman V.P. Agrawal. “Bank checks worth $21 million…bounced. A legal issue is going on.”