By Andy Sambidge
New boarding gates, aircraft stands and x-ray machines aim to help cope with expected record number of passengers
A range of new facilities has been added to Abu Dhabi International Airport as its operator expects to see record numbers of passengers this summer.
Abu Dhabi Airports said in a statement that 20 new boarding bus gates are now fully open to passengers and flights at Terminal 3 increasing the airport flight capacity by 44 percent.
It added that six new code E aircraft stands for wide-bodied aircraft have also been built in time for the summer rush which will increase the airport's aircraft handling capability by 10 percent.
In Terminal 3 - the building dedicated to home air carrier Etihad Airways flights - 16 new x-ray machines are now in place to speed up the security process for transfer passengers, the statement said.
Abu Dhabi Airports added that an enhanced and expanded baggage transfer system has also been introduced for handling transfer luggage between connecting flights, which will increase the handling capacity by 40 percent.
Ali Majed Al Mansoori, chairman of Abu Dhabi Airports, said: "As we look ahead to welcome a record number of passengers using Abu Dhabi International Airport as their connecting hub or destination airport, the number of flights we will handle during the peak travel months will leap by 18 percent to nearly 170 every single day of the week compared to last summer.
"We've made great improvements all around the airport to ensure that all passengers, whether arriving, departing or transferring, will have a great start to their holiday journey."
The airport's developments for this summer are part of the Capacity Enhancement Programme (CEP) for Abu Dhabi International Airport.
The CEP will lift the capacity ceiling at Abu Dhabi International Airport to 18 million passengers a year. This will be boosted by a further 30 million passengers when the Midfield Terminal opens in 2017.