Official reports have targeted a year-end launch but speaking exclusively to Business Traveller Middle East, Khalifa Al Zaffin, executive chairman of Dubai Aviation City Corporation, said: “Whether it’s first, second or third quarter, it’s not my call but I think it’s going to happen [before end 2013].”
The strategy for the new airport will be to serve as a centre for executive jet/FBO business and low-cost travel, with flydubai tipped to relocate from Terminal 2, alongside existing cargo flights.
Al Zaffin suggested that all private aviation traffic would have to leave Dubai International airport.
“By default we have to – the airport is really busy. The idea is to overflow all excess business, and any business which is not essential, to Dubai World Central. Rather than have a private jet that has six people in it, taking up an aircraft movement, we’d rather have an A380 that has several hundred in it.”
Not all operators are quite ready to relocate yet though – ExecuJet doesn’t anticipate moving until next year and intends to keep its FBO open at Dubai International “as long as possible”.
Transport links remain high on the agenda and alongside having Etihad Rail connecting from Abu Dhabi, plans include extending the Red Line Metro and fast-track Purple Line that will connect the two airports.
“The Purple Line will happen in future but in a modified way – you will have check-in facilities in high-density urban areas and then come directly to the airport.”