World's first A380 concourse opens at Dubai International

These are exciting times for bosses at Dubai International Airport, as parts of the facility's brand new A380 concourse have been opened to the public.Concourse A is the first complex in the world that is specifically designed to accommodate Airbus A380 planes and it is set to revolutionise the UAE airport.Once complete, the latest addition to Terminal 3 will take Dubai International's overall capacity to 75 million passengers a year - up from its current limit of 60 million.The concourse underwent a number of trials towards the end of last year and it is set to open in stages.Bosses have had time to make any last-minute tweaks based on the results of the pilot schemes and the first phase of the development - which included 20 contact gates - was unveiled last week (January 2nd).Flight EK003 to London's Heathrow Airport became the first service to leave Concourse A.Chief executive officer at Dubai Airports Paul Griffiths said that getting the facility up and running is a huge achievement and is a big step in the airport's plans to become the world's leading aviation hub."Just as we did with what turned out to be a flawless opening of Terminal 3 and Concourse B in 2008 - which was a much larger and more complex exercise involving the complete transfer of Emirates airline's operations to the new facility - we are opening Concourse A in stages with more gates coming online in each successive phase," he remarked.Passenger numbers seemed to exceed all expectations in 2012 and even more people are predicted to visit Dubai in 2013.Last month, Dubai Airports confirmed that monthly traffic surpassed the 4.875 million mark in November, which was up by ten per cent on the corresponding month in 2011.Mr Griffiths said it is highly likely that the airport beat its original target of attracting 56.5 million air travellers throughout the year.Leaders at Dubai Airports believe up to 66 million people will use the facility in 2013.

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