October 12, 2008

Abu Dhabi’s New Runway Opens Terminal 3 Commences Phased Opening

Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) today announced that the second runway at Abu Dhabi International Airport is now operational for arrivals and departures, following the completion of the main construction in early September and certification by the GCAA.

An Etihad A320 made history today when it became the first plane to take off carrying a party of media at 10.30. The flight touched down ten minutes later.

The new AED 1bn, 4,100m runway is located two kilometres to the north of the existing runway.

Work on the project began in May 2006 and includes the development of the airstrip, two major taxi-ways, two cross-field taxi-ways and two fire stations.

ADAC chairman, Khalifa Al Mazrouei, said:

"ADAC has achieved significant progress in the journey to transform Abu Dhabi International into a world class gateway airport. The new runway will form a key part of our plan to increase total capacity at the airport that will culminate with the construction and completion of the midfield terminal facility. "

ADAC also announced that operations at its new Terminal 3 facility had commenced. Mazrouei explained:

"We have adopted a phased approach to the opening of the new terminal. Earlier last month we started departures using the bus gates and lounges at Terminal 3 for certain services. Working closely with Etihad Airways our aim is to increase the number of departures from Terminal 3, before moving on to accepting arriving planes. The next phase will see passengers checking in through Terminal 3 with a final phase expected to encompass the opening of a full duty free retail and food and beverage village early in the New Year.

In taking this approach we can protect customer service levels and iron-out any potential glitches that are associated with the opening of any new building, but in particular the challenges faced with a new airport terminal opening."

The second runway and the new Terminal 3 developments are part of a large-scale development programme to transform Abu Dhabi International Airport into a world-class gateway airport. Plans for the airport's expansion aim to meet the projected increase in business and leisure traffic, the growth of Etihad, as well as demand from other airlines wishing to fly in and out of Abu Dhabi.

Other features of the airport masterplan include the construction of a new air traffic control complex and the 500,000 sq metre MTC complex, in addition to extensive cargo and maintenance facilities. An extensive business park and logistics warehousing are under construction with Phase I set to come on line early next year.

2008 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

Originally published by By Al-Bawaba Reporters.

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