Dubai plans new mega-airport by 2030 to cater to passenger surge.
22 November 2023, 12:00 AM
31 December 2023, 12:00 AM
Dubai: Dubai is forging ahead with plans to replace the world’s busiest airport with an even bigger one as passenger traffic recovers to outstrip pre-pandemic levels, a top official told AFP on Wednesday.
Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths said designs were being drawn up for Al Maktoum International Airport, which will be built on the city’s outskirts and should replace Dubai International in the 2030s.
He was speaking at the Dubai Airshow in the UAE, where airlines have invested heavily in new planes. Last year, neighbouring Saudi Arabia announced plans for a major new air hub in Riyadh.
“Once we’ve reached about 120 million (passengers a year), which is what we think our total capacity at DXB (Dubai International) is at the absolute maximum with everything optimised, we are going to need a new airport,” Griffiths said.
Currently, the DXB can manage 100 million passengers every year — but innovative technologies, refurbishments, and more efficient use of space and resources could expand its capacity to 120 million.
Griffiths revealed that they would be working on the mega-airport's design elements over the next few months.
He said: “It stands to reason that Al Maktoum International has to be even bigger and even better (than Dubai International)… This will be a project that extends way into the 2050s because we take the long-term view here."
He, however, didn’t disclose details on the price tag or capacity target for the new airport. However, he elaborated that the new airport would be designed on a modular basis rather than based around terminals, which will make it easier to expand over time.
“We are not planning an airport that has terminals. We're going to completely change the business model for airports, make them actually far more intimate and get rid of all the legacy processes that we've had to subject our customers to, for far too long,” he added.