assenger traffic at Dubai’s second airport Dubai World Central dropped by 45.2 per cent year-on-year in 2015, operator Dubai Airports announced on Monday.
DWC welcomed 463,236 passengers in 2015, down from 845,046 recorded during 2014.
Passenger numbers in 2014 were inflated by additional services operated into DWC while Dubai International was reduced to a single runway airport as a result of the runway refurbishment project, a statement said.
Meanwhile passenger traffic rose 62 per cent in the fourth quarter after flydubai launched flights from the facility in October 2015.
DWC welcomed 179,781 passengers in Q4, up from 110,920 during the same period in 2014.
Aircraft movements in Q4 also rose 3.1 per cent year-on-year to 12,052.
However full year aircraft movements were down 11.8 per cent from 2014 at 42,055 again due to the one-off spike in activity created by the runway project at DXB, the statement added.
“DWC is entering an exciting new phase of its development as we expand the facility to prepare for additional operations from flydubai,” said chief executive officer of Dubai Airports Paul Griffiths.
Cargo volumes for 2015 totalled 888,714 tonnes, up 7.7 per cent from 824,933 tonnes recorded during 2014.
However, fourth quarter freight traffic dropped by 9.9 per cent year-on-year to 228,770 tonnes, DWC said.
The airport now features among the world’s top 20 for international freight volumes.
“Just five years after its opening, DWC has risen up the ranks to take the 18th position in terms of international cargo volumes,” said Griffiths.
“As passenger services continue to ramp up DWC, it will similarly elevate its status as an attractive option to DXB for passengers.”
DWC began passenger operations in 2013, after launching cargo operations in 2010.
The existing facility at DWC includes a single A380 compatible runway, a passenger terminal with a capacity of five million passengers per annum (expandable to seven million), a cargo terminal building with a capacity of one million tonnes per annum and a 92-metre air traffic control tower.
It is currently undergoing a $32bn expansion, which will enable the airport to accommodate more than 220 million passengers a year.
Anticipated to be the biggest airport project in the world, the expansion will be built in two phases over six to eight years.
The first phase includes two satellite buildings with an annual capacity for 120 million passengers which can accommodate 100 A380 aircraft at any one time.