Could Dubai International Airport expand even further?

Dubai International Airport is one of the fastest-growing aviation hubs on the planet and there have been suggestions the facility could expand so much that it will be capable of accommodating an astonishing 200 million passengers a year by 2045.In an interview with MEED, Suzanne al-Anani, chief executive officer of Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects (DAEP) said that plans to increase the airport's capacity to 100 million people annually by 2020 are "almost outdated"."We are currently finalising a major sensitive study on Strategic Plan 2045 and we are preparing for a major presentation to the aviation sector board in May for Strategic Plan 2045 where we will get direction on the way forward. We are planning for 200 million passengers by 2045," she was quoted as saying.These mind-boggling figures appear even more impressive when you consider just how big Dubai International is at the moment.The complex welcomed a record 57.6 million passengers throughout 2012 and Dubai Airports has forecast up to 66 million to land in the city in 2013.Major expansion work is ongoing, with the world's first ever A380 concourse - which only opened in January - taking the overall capacity to 75 million. Concourse A is one critical component of the US$7.8 billion Strategic Plan 2020 and it is just one small part of the airport's bid to become the biggest aviation hub on earth.It is already well on its way to achieving this status, as last year's bumper passenger statistics ensured it became the third-busiest international airport in the world - overtaking Hong Kong International in the process.The airport appears to be on an unstoppable roll, as figures published earlier this week (March 26th) showed that 5.08 million passengers used the facility in February alone, which was a 11.4 per cent improvement on the corresponding month in 2012.Without question, Dubai's incredible links to the rest of the world have made it an increasingly attractive investment hub and it would be no surprise to see even more high-powered businesses setting up bases in the emirate in the years to come.

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