The purpose-built Concourse A in Dubai started operations with the first A380 taking off from the terminal last Wednesday without any hiccups — marking a new milestone in the history of the UAE’s successful aviation industry.
This is the first airport terminal facility to be designed from a scratch to handle Superjumbos — as Emirates currently owns the world’s largest A380 fleet. Aviation, which represents $22 billion (Dh80.91 billion) — or 28 per cent of Dubai’s economy — is also a major driver of the emirate’s economic growth.
Built at a cost of Dh11 billion — right after the global financial crisis hit the region — it turns out to be one of the most timely investments that the emirate has made and is going to increase Dubai International Airport’s passenger-handling capacity to 75 million from the current 60 million.
Concourse A will help Dubai International Airport become the world’s biggest hub for international passengers, beating London Heathrow and Paris Charles deGaulle.
Sometimes vision beats imagination. Although many raised eyebrows when Emirates placed the biggest order for Superjumbos, saying it was “ambitious”, the success of the strategy speaks for itself.
The next project, Concourse D, which is part of the Dh28 billion expansion of the airport to raise its capacity to 90 million passengers — will open in 2018.