By Andy Sambidge
Freighter unit of Dubai airline says first phase of new cargo terminal has been completed ahead of move to new airport
Emirates SkyCargo, the freighter unit of the Dubai-based airline, said on Wednesday it is on track for its move to Dubai World Central (DWC) with the first phase of the building being finished.
Starting May 1, all 12 freighters will operate from the new cargo terminal, the airline said in a statement.
It added that the cross docks and perishables areas have been fully completed, marking a "critical milestone" in the start of operations scheduled for the start of next month.
Emirates said the cargo handling system and interiors are due to be finalised shortly and are also well on schedule.
With the conclusion of the first construction phase, Emirates SkyCargo said it is currently starting to test facilities and trucking operations between DWC and Dubai International Airport.
Initially operations will start with 250 staff, which will be increased to 500 staff upon full operation of the entire terminal.
Dave Gould, senior vice president Cargo Operations World-Wide, said: “The move of our freighter operations to DWC provides us with the opportunity to have a dedicated facility for our freighters with the required infrastructure, space and the opportunity to further expand and meet our customers’ needs.
"The new terminal and facilities is a key part of our growth plans. With almost two million tonnes of cargo being processed per year at Dubai International Airport, the new facility enables us to increase our capacity addressing SkyCargo’s long term requirements.”
He added: “During all these expansive changes, the customer remains at the core of our activities. We are committed to providing a smooth and seamless service. The freighters will be handled exclusively from DWC while passenger fleet belly cargo operations will continue to operate from Dubai International Airport."
Upon full completion, the terminal will be equipped to handle 700,000 tonnes per year, with the potential for further expansion to reach 1 million tonnes.
The terminal infrastructure also includes 46 truck docks and 80 truck parking spaces, in addition to 12 aircraft stands directly in front of the terminal.