Dubai Cargo Village announces major restructure

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The new structure of Dubai Cargo Village will be unveiled this month when the hub adjoins to the forthcoming cargo facility at Al Maktoum International Airport in Jebel Ali, under the combined title of Dubai Cargo City.

Controlled by Dubai Airports Company, the newly structured body that will govern both of Dubai's airports, the move is expected to enhance coordination between the two developments. The restructuring programme has been a year in the making and will see Dubai Cargo Village be renamed Dubai International Airport Cargo Gateway, with the adjacent cargo hub in Jebel Ali becoming Al Maktoum Airport Cargo Gateway.

"The airports company was formulated to manage Dubai airport and the forthcoming airport in Jebel Ali. Plans for the new structure began at the start of 2007 and by January the process is expected to be completely finished," exclusively revealed Ali Al Jallaf, vice president, cargo unit, Dubai Cargo Village.

Becoming a separate entity from Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Dubai Airports Company will be divided into a number of business units and supporting units. Cargo is one such unit, with others including Finance, HR, Marketing, IT, Engineering and Commercial. Meanwhile, Dubai Civil Aviation will exist as a smaller body in charge of aviation regulations and permissions.

Construction of the approximately US$75 million cargo terminal at Al Maktoum International Airport is currently over 50% complete. The first phase of the project will see the terminal initially handle 200,000 tonnes per annum, with the option to expand by a further 600,000 tonnes. By 2013 is expected to become the largest of its kind in the world, handling more than 12 million tonnes of cargo annually.

Meanwhile, Dubai Cargo Village has recently completed construction of its Cargo Mega Terminal, which now has a handling capacity of 1.2 million tonnes. From his role as vice president of cargo unit, Al Jallaf will be overseeing the future of both cargo facilities.

"A lot is dependent on congestion and traffic at the current Dubai International Airport. Some operations may need to be transferred to the new project in Jebel Ali, a fact that could benefit manufacturers and companies already based in the free zone. We are looking to ensure each airport's cargo facilities complement one another," said Al Jallaf.

"Freighters arriving into the existing cargo village can easily transfer cargo down to the new airport, which will begin life as an all cargo operation. Eventually, we expect all cargo airlines to move down to Al Maktoum airport, dependent on operational requirements," he added.

Although no airlines have yet confirmed a presence at the Jebel Ali based airport, incentives will be offered to encourage relocation towards the new site. Rumours of an exclusive road linking the two airports are currently unfounded, but Al Jallaf stated options are being explored regarding how to handle the predicted growth.

The official launch of Dubai Cargo City is due to commence midway through this month.

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