By Andy Sambidge
Senior official says expansion of Dubai Int'l Airport will raise capacity to 90m passengers per year
Dubai Airports will invest AED22bn ($5.98bn) towards the expansion of Dubai and Al Maktoum International Airports by 2020, a senior official has said.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Airport Show 2011, Khalifa Al Zaffin, executive chairman of Dubai World Central, said the expansion plans will increase the capacity of the Dubai International Airport to 90 million passengers annually.
The number will increase from the current 60 million upon the completion of plans to build Concourse 4 and the expansion of Terminal 2.
Zaffin also said that AED4bn will be invested in the development of the aviation city and the residential city at Al Maktoum Airport at the Dubai World Central.
Dubai Airports forecast earlier this month that international passenger traffic would grow 7.2 percent on average over the next 10 years.
It also projected passenger numbers will reach 98.5 million by 2020 while cargo volumes are expected to top 4.1 million tonnes.
In March, Dubai Airports said the opening of the passenger terminal at the new Al Maktoum airport, estimated to cost around $34bn, would be further delayed till next year.
Separately at the Airport Show, Mohamed Ahmed Abed, director general of King Abdulaziz International Airport in Saudi Arabia, said AED27bn would be spent on new airport developments.
Ras Al Khaimah International Airport has also announced a 10-year development plan worth AED2.5bn, while Fujairah International Airport said it has allocated AED50m towards the expansion and development of the airport this year.
It is expected that an additional AED100m would be allocated for further expansion in 2012, said Dr Khalid Al-Mazrui, the airport's director general.
Fujairah International Airport also announced the selection of ALES for the supply of Air Traffic Control System and ERA for the Wide Area Multilateration radar as part of a AED10m deal.
Airport Show 2011 focused on the huge investments involved in the building of new airports and the expansion of existing airports in the region, which is expected to be worth $90bn in the next few years.
Perhaps it would be better from a global opinion perspective if Dubai were to pay it's debts off sooner rather than later and return the money paid in advance by the thousands of property investors who will never see the home of their dreams before investing $5.22 billion in airports.
Just because one aspect of the economy is profitable does not mean that those profits cannot be reassigned to paying off state debt elsewhere. With claims that the overall debt incurred by the emirate is $129.3 billion surfacing as recently as January and restructuring still a hot topic, what kind of message dies this send out to foreign investors?
Airline passenger and cargo business might be brisk but the construction and property businesses remain in a dire state as a result of unpaid bills and broken promises.
Nah, paying off your debts is not as much fun as spending fresh money.
Having said that, this may be the right decision from a financial perspective, if the ROI is high enough... Hard to tell without access to the numbers if this is one of the many "vision driven" projects or a well thought one.
90 million passengers at DXB? Unless the plan is to also build a third runway, be prepared to sit in the sky circling for a long time before landing - you've only got to look at Heathrow for proof of that; also 2 runways and last year a capacity of 66 million and endless holding patterns...
It doesn't seem this "vision" is that well thought out. Why not just focus on Al Maktoum where there's plenty of sand, er, room..
spent 40 minutes a few weeks ago circling the airport.
It is not all bad, I was able to finish my movie
If I recall isn't Heathrow pretty much shut down during the middle of the night? Correct me if I am wrong but I think that limits the number of take offs and landings to about 17 or 18 hours a day whereas Dubai Airport is a 24 hour operation. I know, I live in Mirdif and hear the boys when they are flying in low at 2am!
If Emirates can fill up all the A380's they are buying and succeed in diverting transit business away from London Heathrow, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Paris and other traditional European hubs then these bold numbers might be possible. Besides Emirates growth there are still opportunities for other carriers, especially from the States, to increase or add flights to Dubai.
The sooner the new airport opens the better. Some of the other carriers need to move over there as soon as possible to free up some gates. I am tired of taking a bus to and from the airplane!