Dubai Airports CEO says capacity at giant Jebel Ali facility could rise by 40m under new masterplan
Dubai Airports is considering whether to increase the capacity of Al Maktoum International Airport, which is due to open in October this year, to 200 million passengers per year.
“Ultimately we want to create the world’s largest airport, and we’re looking at the design capacity, which was 120 million [passengers per year],” Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports, told CNN in an interview.
“Then we took it to 160 million. It’s likely now we’re going to build an airport now capable of handing up to 200 million passengers.”
The world’s current busiest airport is Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport in the US, which handles around 89 million passengers a year.
“The scale and order of what we’re looking at now is many times the scale and order of anything else, anywhere on the planet,” Griffiths added. “I’m looking for a game-changer in the airport industry – I don’t want to copy anything that’s gone before.”
Dubai Airports is currently working on a 2045 masterplan to help manage the expected growth of the emirate’s two facilities.
Dubai International Airport is undergoing a $7.8bn expansion plan to boost its capacity to around 100m by 2020, Griffths told Arabian Business in May. The airport is projected to become the world’s busiest in terms of international traffic at some point in 2015, overtaking London Heathrow.
Two airlines, Saudi Arabia’s Nas Air and Hungary’s Wizz Air, will kick off operations at Al Maktoum International when the facility is launched on October 27 this year. The five-runway airport will then build up capacity over time, and eventually expects to welcome Emirates Airline in the mid-2020s.