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Sat 5 Sep 2015 01:00 AM

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Abu Dhabi airport expansion hits key construction milestone

Officials says Midfield Terminal Building project will be 70% completed by year-end as work starts to de-prop roof

Abu Dhabi airport expansion hits key construction milestone
An artists impression of the new terminal at Abu Dhabi International Airport

A major milestone has been reached in the construction of Abu Dhabi Airports' new Midfield Terminal Building, which will have the capacity to handle 30 million passengers a year.

The process of de-propping the centerpiece of the building, the curved roof, has begun, which will give the impression that the state-of-the-art looking structure is floating on 18 steel arches.

Officials added that the whole project is on track to be 70 percent completed by the end of this year.

In this first of nine de-props, a team of 45 specialists, with 60 hydraulic jacks, systematically removed 30 temporary supports used for constructing the roof element, in one of the most complex engineering feats of the multi-billion dollar infrastructure project.

By completing the de-propping process by February 2016, the roof will be a free-standing structure, floating above 18 mega arches, which will feature the world's longest indoor arch spanning 180m, at a height of 52m, with a weight of around 1000 metric tons.

Ali Majed Al Mansoori, chairman of Abu Dhabi Airports, said: "It is truly amazing to witness this great progress. We are extremely proud to maintain our track record of achieving key construction milestones safely in spite of the project's architectural complexity.

"Currently the whole project is 55 percent complete and it is expected to be 70 percent complete by the end of 2015."

He added: "The MTB is set to become the gateway to the capital city and plays an important role in raising the profile of Abu Dhabi as a world-class transportation hub."

Sulaiman Al Siksek, chief programs officer, said: "Although we've reached a milestone on this project by beginning the de-propping, the hard work on creating this iconic terminal building continues.

"We have an army of 20,000 workers on this 3.5 million sq m site, supported by a fleet of the latest construction equipment, including 24 tower and mobile cranes. The steelwork for the four piers is complete and good progress is already underway for the enclosure structure, including the glass curtain walling and roofing for the four piers."

Once the building envelope and glazing for all four piers is finished later this year, the focus will then transition towards work on the inside of the building: fit-out, systems integration and all other required infrastructure such as the baggage handling system, with a capacity to handle over 19,000 bags per hour.

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