By Daniel Shane
Senior executive had previously said $3.2bn expansion would be ready by Q2 2017
Abu Dhabi International Airport’s new AED11.7bn ($3.2bn) midfield terminal complex will become operational in the third quarter of 2017, according to the holding company’s CEO Tony Douglas.
Another senior executive at Abu Dhabi Airports Company had previously said that the new terminal would be open in the first half of 2017 following a completion date in 2016.
The 700,000 sqm facility is expected to boost the capacity of the UAE capital’s airport to 30m passengers per year and will also become the home of Etihad Airways, the Gulf state’s flag carrier.
“By 2017, Abu Dhabi Airport will open its midfield terminal, which will be very much a highpoint in airport infrastructure anywhere in the world,” Douglas told journalists at a press conference in Abu Dhabi.
Authorities in the emirate are investing heavily in transforming Abu Dhabi into a transport hub to rival neighbouring Dubai, which currently has a capacity of about 75m passengers per year, with the new Al Maktoum International hub expected to be able to accommodate 160m upon full completion. Abu Dhabi’s capacity is currently about 12.5m per year.
Fellow Gulf state Qatar is also expected to open its long delayed Hamad International Airport later this year, which should be able to handle around 50m passengers annually.
The new midfield terminal at Abu Dhabi is part of a broader $6.8bn redevelopment of the airport which will also include a new arrivals hall.
Daniel Molloy, deputy development officer at Abu Dhabi Airports Company told a business conference in Abu Dhabi in November last year that the new terminal would be operational by the end of Q2 2017.
The terminal is being built by a consortium of Dubai-based Arabtec, Turkey’s TAV Insaat and Athens-based Consolidated Contractors Company.