Airport chiefs to put new Concourse 3 to the test

12/12/2012 - Dubai Investment News Posted by Neil King
Airport chiefs to put new Concourse 3 to the test
Bosses at Dubai International Airport have confirmed the huge new Concourse 3 development will be opened to the public as part of a trial run this weekend (December 15th).The $3.5 billion (AED 12.8 billion) extension will take the airport's capacity up from 60 million passengers a year to 75 million.Speaking to Gulf News, chief executive officer at Dubai Airports Paul Griffiths said: "We are on track for the opening of Concourse 3 in the first quarter of next year as we start its first public trial run on Saturday."The brand new concourse will be connected to the two major public levels of Terminal 3 and will make space for an extra 20 aircraft stands.Two of these will be used by Boeing 777 vessels, while Airbus A380-800s will fill the other 18.More than 57 million people are expected to pass through the airport this year, which will take it extremely close to its overall capacity.Visitor numbers were up by 13.5 per cent in the first ten months of 2012 when compared to the corresponding period in 2011 and experts believe these figures will grow even further in the coming years.In November, Mr Griffiths said that monthly passenger numbers of almost five million were "becoming the norm"."At this rate we expect to exceed our initial forecast of 56.5 million passengers and should end the year at or around 57 million passengers," he added.This has made airport expansion a very pressing matter and those charged with increasing the facility's capacity have certainly not been hanging around.The Dubai Government is set to pump a further AED 28 billion into the fourth phase of the airport's development, which will mean the complex can cater for a mind-boggling 90 million people every year by 2018.Mr Griffiths explained that the government has been fully supportive of the airport's rapid rise and the authorities realise that aviation plays a huge part in a country's overall economic growth.