By Rob Morris
Dubai's new Jebel Ali airport is set to get its first of six runway by this year.
The first runway at Dubai's new airport in Jebel Ali will be completed this year, according to the Emirate's civil aviation authority.
Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of Dubai Aviation Corporation, said the first of six runways at Dubai World Central International Airport (JXB) will be ready by October.
"Over 70% of JXB's first 4.5km CAT III runway is complete," Sheikh Ahmed said. "This first runway will enable JXB to commence operations in mid-2008 as the world's largest passenger and freighter airport and cargo hub."
Nabooda Contracting Company, which is building the runway, is also working on three parallel taxiways and associated rapid exits, which are 40% complete.
"The progress, achieved in just over a year, is a reflection of Dubai government's commitment to the region's burgeoning aviation infrastructure development," Sheikh Ahmed said.
"With $82 billion earmarked for this growth in Dubai, the Emirate is leading the way across the Middle East, African and South Asian markets."
When completed, JXB will cover 140 sq km, making it the largest airport in the world. It will be able to handle between 120-150 million passengers and 12 million tonnes of cargo each year.
The $8.1 billion hub will include an urban aviation community based 40km from Dubai city centre. It will also play host to Dubai Logistics City, and Jebel Ali port and free zone.
The announcement was made to hub suppliers and aviation figures during this month's Airport Show.transport news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.