Dubai puts new A380 terminal to the test

Over 1,000 people involved in major exercise ahead of Concourse A opening in 2013

An artist's impression of the new Concourse A in Terminal 3.

An artist's impression of the new Concourse A in Terminal 3.

Dubai Airports said on Sunday it has conducted its first trial of facilities at the newly built Concourse A, the world's first purpose-built A380 facility at Dubai International's Terminal 3.

The trial, which involved more than 1,000 members of the public, followed a series of preliminary exercises held recently with employees of the airport and its partners.

The test aimed at determining the readiness of staff, systems and processes at the new facility by simulating a typical airport operation, Dubai Airports said in a statement.

Some 1,100 volunteers, including individuals with special needs, played the role of passengers arriving at, departing from and transiting through Concourse A, testing signage and the flow of passenger traffic within the new building.

Many of the new retail and food and beverage outlets also formed part of the trial, the airport operator said.

The trial findings will be used to make adjustments to processes, systems or facilities, as required, which will again be tested at future operational trials, it added.

Concourse A is part of the Terminal 3 complex which will increase Dubai International's annual passenger capacity from 60 million to 75 million when it opens next year.

"Prior to opening it is imperative that we are diligent in testing every aspect of the passenger experience across the new facility," said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports.

"The trial has yielded some very valuable insight which we will be analysing and acting on in the days and weeks ahead."

He added: "Concourse A is another critical element of the $7.8bn Strategic Plan 2020 which includes the expansion of Dubai International to accommodate the tremendous growth we expect over the next decade.

"Passenger numbers are forecast to reach 66 million in 2013 and the opening of Concourse A is a timely and welcome addition to Dubai International, putting us firmly on track to reach our target of becoming the world's best and largest airport in terms of service and international passenger numbers."

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