Dubai South looks to attract Airbus, Boeing operations

Expansion work at the zone’s airport is expected to take “five-to-seven years”



The aviation district at Dubai South is looking to attract Airbus, Boeing and other manufacturers to setup distribution operations, an official has said.

Speaking to Gulf Business, Dubai South’s vice president for aviation said the aviation district, which is home to Al Maktoum International Airport, would soon announce a dedicated zone for manufacturers as part of its expansion efforts.

Other plans over the next year include two major aircraft hangers and the dividing of a 10,000sqm plots in its aerospace supply chain area into workshops to cater for small and medium enterprises.

“We are in discussions with them [major manufacturers] for having distribution centres as a start,” said Tahnoon Saif. “We are designing a zone dedicated for manufacturing, which has not been announced as of now but for light manufacturing we’re already accommodating them with the aerospace supply chain [area].”

Earlier this year, Dubai Airports confirmed that expansion work at Al Maktoum International had been delayed until 2018.

It is eventually expected to become the emirate’s largest airport when a $36 programme is completed that will increase capacity to 26 million passengers a year from around seven million currently.

Read: Dubai pushes back Al Maktoum International Airport expansion to 2018

Saif said work is underway but building the necessary infrastructure would take “five-to-seven years”.

Until then he says it would be “better to have airlines” at the zone, with the airport currently served by eight or nine carriers.

Read: Dubai World Central sees 35% increase in passengers in H1

Next year, the aviation zone is aiming for 100 per cent occupancy at all of its existing facilities, with 33 per cent of Code F plots and 15 per cent of Code C plots currently leased.

The zone also has 92 per cent of its aviation supply chain area leased and 100 per cent occupancy at a VIP terminal dedicated to executive jet operators.

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