Aircraft arrivals at Dubai International Airports are set to increase from the present 33 to 45 an hour by 2016 following the recent upgrade of the runways, according to a senior official at Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA).
Director general of DCAA Mohammed Ahli said that the refurbished runways are now equipped with a high speed turnoff that allows aircraft to vacate quickly and permit another to land or depart in a shorter space of time.
“The upgraded runways would go a long way in handling the air traffic which has been consistently growing between five to seven per cent annually, higher than the global average of 3.5 per cent,” he was quoted as saying in ViaDubai, the official newsletter of DCAA.
The refurbishment project, which lasted for 80 days, involved the resurfacing of the entire 4,000-metre long northern runway as well as the upgrading of runway lighting and construction of additional taxiways and rapid exits on the southern runway.
The UAE airspace currently handles approximately 600,000 movements a year while aircraft movements in the country are estimated to surge to 1.2 million by 2020.
Dubai’s passenger and cargo aircraft movements are forecast to reach 416,650 and 35,000 respectively by 2015 while the emirate alone is projected to handle 660,000 movements by 2020.
“We are working with confidence to accomplish our goal of welcoming 70 million passengers by the end of year 2014,” said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, president of DCAA and chairman of Dubai Airports.
“All performance indicators of Dubai International Airport strongly suggest that we will be able to achieve our objectives.
“The airport has been receiving five million passengers every month since the past 18 consecutive months, a strong indicator of the growing importance of Dubai as a most sought-after air connectivity hub.”
Dubai Airports will also open a new concourse in the first quarter of next year as a part of a wider $7.8 expansion plan to boost airport capacity to over 100 million passengers annually.
The emirate is investing massively to ramp up its airport facilities in a bid to sustain its position as a regional hub and to keep pace with the growth in the aviation sector.
Earlier this week, Dubai announced that it would spend about $32 billion in expanding its second airport Al Maktoum International at DWC to handle 200 million visitors by the next decade.
The expansion, touted to be the biggest airport project in the world, will be carried out in phases over six to eight years, authorities said in a statement.