2022: Abu Dhabi International Airport completes 40 years of operations
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2022: Abu Dhabi International Airport completes 40 years of operations

2022: Abu Dhabi International Airport completes 40 years of operations

The airport officially opened on January 2, 1982


Abu Dhabi Airports has marked the 40th anniversary of the opening of Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH).

“Abu Dhabi International Airport has connected the world to Abu Dhabi for 40 years and fuelled the emirate’s emergence as a leading destination for tourism, trade and commerce,” said Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, chairman of Abu Dhabi Airports. “It was the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan who had the foresight to build the airport, and thanks to his vision Abu Dhabi Airports has built a legacy forged by collaboration, innovation and service.”

The airport was first proposed in 1974, with its construction beginning in 1979. The Abu Dhabi International Airport officially opened on January 2, 1982, featuring a circular satellite terminal with a single connection to a semi-circular terminal, official news agency WAM reported.

The terminal was expanded during late 1990s and early 200s to cater to the increase in passenger numbers. Etihad became the national carrier and the home airline in 2003, a catalyst for growth and paved the way for the opening of Terminal 2 in September 2005, a second runway in 2008 and Terminal 3 in January 2009, boosting the airport’s capacity to 12 million passengers per year.

In 2014, AUH also introduced the first United States border pre-clearance facilities in the Middle East to aid in the processing of passengers on direct flights for entry into the US before they boarded their planes. Also, AUH launched the Smart Travel System in 2016 to ease passenger processing and improve the customer experience.

Shareef Al Hashmi, CEO, Abu Dhabi Airports added: “As consumer confidence rebounds and traffic gradually recovers, we will continue to explore new technologies, products and ways of doing business that will drive improved sustainability and create industry-leading airport experiences.”


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