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‘Ultimate airport’ planned for Dubai

DUBAI: The new expansion plan of Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central unveiled by Dubai Airports will provide robust support to passenger capacity which the city is looking to boost from the current six million to 26 million by 2018 according to a media report.

Following phase 2 of the expansion, the ‘ultimate airport’ will hold a passenger capacity of 240m and is expected to be completed in 2025. Enhanced features would include downtown check-in facilities, rail integration and enhanced security measures that facilitate security pre-clearance for passengers before they reach their final destination, Emirates 24/7 reported.

Unveiling the plans at the ongoing Arabian Travel Market exhibition, Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths also confirmed the new Concourse D at Terminal 1 of Dubai International was in its final stages of a $7.8 billion investment program. Griffiths reportedly said: “Concourse D is in its final phase of the $7.8 billion investment programme; we are going to take it from the contractor in the next few weeks. We will be able to accommodate 18m passengers annually once it is opened.”

Linked to Terminal 1 via an automated people mover, the new concourse will be spread across 65,000 square metres, with 32 gates (21 contact stands, 11 remote), the report said.

“Check-in for Concourse D will ferry passengers in a train of five carriages, with 300 passengers at full capacity. The need to walk long to your gate will be eliminated,” Griffiths reportedly said.

Incorporating an open-gate concept, the new Concourse will also serve 20 new restaurants, along with hosting nine airline lounges. The refurbished Terminal 1 will have more than 200 check-in desks and four over-sized baggage check-in desks spread across six check-in zones for different airlines, the report said

Reportedly, the new Terminal 1 will also feature 15 percent more check in counters, self-check in kiosks and in-line security screening of baggage at check-ins, as well as 30 per cent additional counters for immigration (arrivals) to ensure passenger comfort.

Griffiths further revealed that the initial target of Dubai Airports was a capacity of 100 million passengers by 2020, however, the forecast was 20 percent higher.

Meanwhile, in a bid to “reinvent the airport experience”, the expansion design will see the emergence of airport zones with circulation hubs, each handling 20m people at a time and connected by rail, Emirates 24/7 reported.

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