Dubai's Al Maktoum gets nod to start passenger ops

Emirate's second international airport wins regulatory approval to start services on Oct 27
Dubai's Al Maktoum gets nod to start passenger ops
Members of the media and officials walk on the runway in front of an Emirates Airlines plane during the media tour of Dubais new second airport. (Getty Images)
By Andy Sambidge
Tue 17 Sep 2013 04:47 PM

Aviation regulators in the UAE said on Tuesday they have given the green light to Dubai's second airport to start passenger services.

The General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) said it has certified Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central (DWC) for passenger operations.

This paves the way for the new passenger terminal building to open on October 27, a statement said.

In a letter issued by GCAA's Air Navigation and Aerodrome department, the regulator acknowledged the "hard work and commitment of Dubai Airports in achieving the status of full aerodrome operations".

"This is a welcomed and critical step forward in the process of preparing DWC for full passenger operations," said Jamal Zaal, vice president of airside operations at Dubai Airports.

"We will continue to press ahead with trials that test every system, process and piece of equipment in the new terminal, be it signage, gates or boarding procedures to make sure the new facility is ready to accept passengers on October 27."

He said facility preparations will culminate in advanced passenger trails on October 12 where the full passenger journey through the new terminal will be tested by 1,000 members of the public to identify any areas for improvement before its doors open for business.

An advanced passenger trial using employees will take place in early October as a dress rehearsal for the public trials, he added.

The new passenger terminal building is designed to accommodate five to seven million passengers per year.

When completed, DWC will be the largest airport in the world with five runways and capacity for 160 million passengers and 12 million tonnes of cargo.

Earlier this year, Khalifa Al Zaffin, executive chairman of DWC, said up to 25 airlines were in talks to set up operations to Al Maktoum International.

DWC opened for cargo operations in 2010 while approval for general aviation operations – mainly involving private jets – was granted in 2011.

The emirate’s existing airport, Dubai International Airport is in the middle of a $7.8bn expansion programme.

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