Dubai Int'l Airport eyes major cargo expansion

Freight facilities set to undergo growth; capacity to increase to 3.1m tonnes by 2018
By Andy Sambidge
Sun 16 Sep 2012 05:26 PM

Dubai International Airport's cargo facilities are set to undergo a major modernisation and expansion programme that will see freight capacity increased to 3.1 million tonnes by 2018.

Construction is set to begin on a 30,000 sq m addition to Dubai International's 1.2 million tonne cargo mega terminal, increasing capacity by 25 percent to 1.5 million tonnes a year.

The airport's original cargo facilities, Hall A and Freight Gate 1, will also undergo a total refurbishment, a statement said.

Together these facilities will be dedicated for the sole use of Emirates Airline, the statement added.

A new transhipment facility with capacity for 400,000 tonnes of freight a year is also under construction.

Once complete, it will handle about 60 percent of cargo transferred between Dubai International and Dubai World Central, Dubai's second airport.

The new facility will be built on the former site of the Airport Expo building which was partially demolished earlier this year.

The new infrastructure responds to growing volumes of freight being transported through Dubai.

Total annual cargo volumes across both airports are projected to surge from the 2.19 million tonnes recorded last year to 4.1 million tonnes by 2020.

"Construction of the new facilities at Dubai International will take place in several stages to ensure the day-to-day working of the airport is not disrupted," said Jeff Gould, VP development at Dubai Airports.

Chris Garton, SVP, operations at Dubai Airports, added: "The continued growth in cargo volumes as well as the size of the airport meant that cargo facilities could no longer be clustered into one area.

"The new infrastructure will not only increase our capacity but go a long way to simplifying what has become an increasing complex cargo operation as the airport has grown."

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