Dubai: The first test cargo flight from what will be the world's largest airport landed on Sunday at Dubai World Central-Al Maktoum International airport, giving the green light for operations to begin next Sunday.
Emirates Flight EK9883, a Boeing 777 freighter operating Hong Kong-Dubai and piloted by Captain Ahmad Bin Huzaim and First Officer Nabil Yousuf Ahmad Mohammad Rai Al Boom, touched down on Sunday afternoon as officials looked on.
"This is an important milestone, not only for the airport's certification process, but as another step towards achieving Dubai's vision to become the pre-eminent centre for aviation worldwide," said Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman of Dubai Airports.
The airport is part of a $33 billion Dubai World Central (DWC) project that will take Dubai's reputation for a transport hub to a whole different level.
The master plan includes six interrelated developments; the world's largest airport, Al Maktoum International Airport, Dubai Logistics City, DWC Aviation City, DWC Residential City, DWC Commercial City and DWC Golf City.
The combined developments are designed to serve the city's aviation, tourism, commercial and logistics requirements up to 2050 and beyond.
The first phase of the airport will feature one A380 capable runway, 64 remote stands, one cargo terminal with annual capacity for 250,000 tonnes of cargo and a passenger terminal building designed to accommodate five million passengers per year.
When completed, Dubai World Central-Al Maktoum International will be the largest airport in the world with five runways, four terminal buildings and capacity for 160 million passengers and 12 million tonnes of cargo.
The facility opens initially for cargo carriers, with passenger operations currently slated to start up at the end of March 2011 in concert with the IATA schedule change, operating company Dubai Airports announced on Monday.
DWC will combine air and land cargo while its location just a few kilometres from one of the region's largest port at Jebel Ali connected by a dedicated highway, will give it the ability for one of the quickest transfer time for goods.
During the live operation, the flight effectively tested Air Traffic Control procedures, airfield and taxi way signage and routes, radio communication and a host of processes and procedures related to ground and cargo handling, fuelling, catering, customs, immigration and security.
The trial also tested communication links between all the parties involved – Emirates SkyCargo, Dubai Airports, Dubai Air Navigation Services, Dubai Police, Customs, Immigration, Engineering Projects, Dubai Logistics City, Dubai World Central, JAFZA, Dnata, Swift Freight and the Roads and Transport Authority.