The planned expansion of the Al Maktoum International Airport at Dubai World Central will be completed in the first quarter of 2022, aviation officials confirmed.
“The expansion is scheduled for completion in Q1 of 2022, by which time we expect AMIA ‘s annual passenger capacity to increase from the current five million passengers to 130 million,” Dubai Aviation City Corporation’s chairman Khalifa Al Zaffin was quoted as saying in the aviation newsletter Via Dubai.
“Our current aim for Al Maktoum International Airport is twofold: to attract more airlines to operate from the airport and ease passenger traffic at Dubai International until such time that phase one of the new airport is ready.
“In that context, AMIA is currently undergoing an expansionary phase that will see its annual passenger handling capacity rise from the current five million to seven million by early 2016,” he said.
In 2014, Dubai announced that it will spend about $32bn in expanding the capacity of AMIA to accommodate 200 million passengers.
The expansion, which is expected to be the biggest airport project in the world, would take place in two phases over six to eight years, Dubai Airports said. Upon completion, the entire development will cover an area of 56 square kilometres.
AMIA’s expansion could also allow Dubai’s fast growing carrier Emirates to shift base from Dubai International, officials said.
Dubai, which is aiming to be a regional aviation hub, has invested massively into developing airport infrastructure over the last few years.
Its main airport- Dubai International is currently implementing a $7.8bn expansion plan including building Concourse 3 and revamping Terminal 2. Another major concourse is scheduled to open later this year.
Dubai, which has limited oil reserves compared to UAE capital Abu Dhabi, is expected to benefit strongly from its focus on aviation.
According to a report by research firm Oxford Economics, Dubai’s aviation sector is projected to support over a million jobs by 2030 with the total economic impact on the emirate to grow to $88.1bn.