Dubai: Thousands of people from around the UAE took part in a trial run of Dubai International’s new facility, which was built for Emirates’ fleet of A380s.
The trial, which took place on December 15 and 22, was described by many participants as a “rewarding travel experience”.
According to a press statement by Dubai airports, nearly 1,500 volunteers, including staff, took part in the trial on December 22. They played different roles in a simulation of a typical airport day at the facility, which is considered the world’s first terminal built just for A380s. On December 15, 1,100 volunteers, which included men, women, children, senior citizens and individuals with special needs, took part.
Upon arrival at Terminal 3, test passengers were given “experimental boarding passes” to different destinations and were asked to reach their designated gates on time. They were required to pass through security check and passport control.
It was clear that many test passengers enjoyed the experience.
“I am enjoying it very much. I feel I am like a kid,” said a senior-ranking French employee at a company in Dubai with a child-like smile on her face.
As the were coming out of the elevator heading to their designated gates, an Arab woman relied: “I just love it. This is unique. I have not heard of another airport doing it”.
The two women took part in the second phase of the trial, which was conducted on December 22, and included participants coming from different countries and backgrounds including UAE and many other Arab, western and Asian countries. The aim was to determine the readiness of different aspects of the new facility ahead of its opening in 2013.
Volunteers at the trial got into the spirit of the test.
“Have a nice trip,” one smiling volunteer said to one another.
When a family of three was taking their time collecting their items after the security check up, another test passenger urged them to hurry.
“Excuse me, I have a flight to catch,” she said to the father, who burst out laughing and cleared the way.
Volunteers were allowed to use the train connecting Terminal 3 with the new Concourse A, where they started heading to their designated gates. Concourse A is part of the Terminal 3 complex which is built for the exclusive use of Emirates airline, and will increase Dubai International’s annual passenger capacity from 60 million to 75 million when it opens next year.
Volunteers were also asked to play the role of transit passengers returning to Terminal 3 after a few hours. The new retail and food and beverages outlets were also part of trial.
“In the days ahead, feedback from the operational trials will help us identify the systems, processes or facilities that need to be adjusted to ensure smooth operations. The trials are vital for a successful opening of the new facility,” Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports said in a press statement a copy of which was sent to Gulf News.
The trials were organised by Dubai Airports in collaboration with Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects, Emirates airline, Dubai Duty Free, dnata, Dubai Police, the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigner Affairs (GDRFA) and Dubai Customs.