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Tue 7 Dec 2010 02:13 PM

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Dubai may delay new airport opening by a few months

Officials to review passenger terminal capacity and state of construction in coming months

Dubai may delay new airport opening by a few months
DELAYED OPENING: Dubai Airports has said it will review Al Maktoum International Airports passenger terminal capacity and state of construction in the coming months and may delay its opening (Dept of Civil Aviation image)

Dubai may delay the start of passenger operations at its new Al Maktoum international airport by a few months, an official said on Tuesday.

The airport - billed as the world's largest when it becomes fully operational with expected passenger capacity of up to 160 million people a year - was slated to open in March 2011.

"At the moment, we are reviewing the opening date and it looks as if it'll be later in the year," Paul Griffiths, chief executive of Dubai Airports, told reporters on the sidelines of an aviation conference.

"We are going to review the passenger terminal capacity and state of construction in a couple of months and then we'll be looking at a date."

Maktoum airport is part of the Dubai World Central transport hub which the Gulf Arab emirate is developing to underpin efforts to become a key Mideast logistics centre.

The airport opened for cargo operations earlier this year.

Griffiths said a planned expansion at Dubai International Airport would increase capacity, allowing the smaller airport to handle up to 90 million passengers by 2018.

"So ... it takes the pressure off us having to complete Al Maktoum in the timeframe we were looking for," he said.

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John Harte 8 years ago

I still don't get it. Why does Dubai need two airports? Will DXB close once DWC is opened? If so, why are they constructing a 4th terminal at DXB? Or, will 2 airports be the norm? Anybody know the answers?!

Jon 8 years ago

John - the construction at DXB is concourse 2 of Terminal 3; and not a fourth terminal.