Abu Dhabi Airport prepares to receive Airbus A380s at its gates

In anticipation of the delivery in late 2014 of the first of Etihad Airways’ 10 A380 superjumbos on order, Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) is seeking expressions of interest from interested contractors to build A380 capable gates and stands at its existing terminal.

In addition, ADAC announced earlier this month that it had received the Executive Council’s approval for the construction of a new Midfield Terminal Complex (MTC), which, once ready by the first half of 2017, will become the primary gateway for airlines operating to Abu Dhabi and the future home of Etihad Airways.

ADAC has today advertised in national dailies for qualified contractors to register their interest for two projects, ‘Terminal 3 A380 Gates Expansion’ and ‘Terminal 1 Baggage Reclaim Expansion’.

These capacity increases at existing terminals are planned to handle increasing volumes of transfer passengers prior to the opening of the new MTC terminal. The capacity enhancement program includes the development of a passenger arrival hall, bus gates, security screening facilities and additional A380 capable gates and stands.

While no timeline for the final delivery of the A380 capable gates and stands is mentioned in the ads, they will need to be built before Etihad takes delivery of its first superjumbo in late 2014. Last week, the Abu Dhabi-based airline reported its first-ever profit of $14 million on revenues of $4.1 billion, which were up 36 per cent.

CEO James Hogan called it a historic day for Etihad and added the carrier plans capacity increases to Australia next year, with three daily Sydney flights and two Melbourne services. He also said Etihad plans to deploy its A380 aircraft on the Sydney route when the first of the type is delivered in late 2014.

In today’s ads, ADAC detailed that A380 Stands and Gates Expansion project comprises modifications to the three aircraft stands as well as an expansion to the existing Terminal 3. “Scope includes a three storey building expansion of gross area 2,550 sq m apron and road paving of 10,000 sq m airfield marking, fuel hydrant pits, utility line extensions, passenger loading bridges and other related works,” the ad said.

ADAC has set itself an ambitious target of making the Abu Dhabi International Airport one of the best in the world. “The approval of the Executive Council on the capacity expansion program for Abu Dhabi International Airport confirms Abu Dhabi’s commitment to deliver a world-class airport for the emirate that will be on a par with the best international airports in the world,” Khalifa Al Mazrouei, Chairman of ADAC, had said earlier this month.

“This development represents one of the largest investments by the government to deliver the needed infrastructure, in line with Abu Dhabi Plan 2030, that will cater to the growth of the aviation sector in the region and confirms Abu Dhabi’s strong position in the global air transportation network. ADAC looks forward to appointing the Midfield Terminal Building contractors and creating this key infrastructure asset for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.”

Following the completion of extensive site preparation, piling and foundation works in 2010 and 2011, construction of the Midfield Terminal Building is planned to commence during the second quarter of 2012.

Print Email