Dubai airport cargo capacity to expand

07 / 03 / 2012

AL Maktoum International Airport, which opened first for cargo-only freighters in June 2010, is increasing freight capacity.

Authorities have revealed plans to develop more cargo terminals of a similar size to the existing shed, which can handle around 250,000 metric tonnes of cargo a year.

“The good thing about DWC [Dubai World Central] is that we’ve got plenty of space to build additional facilities,” Dubai Airports’ chief executive officer Paul Griffiths says.

“We’re looking at developing another two plots. This will give us [a capacity of about] 750,000 tonnes.”

The airport is set to reach full, planned operational capacity by 2027, a decade later than intended.

“The original [plan] was to have some capacity online for 2017. We’ve pushed that back by about ten years,” Griffiths adds. “We’re changing the timeline and order [in which] we bring the facilities online so that there’s more generated cash from this airfield and a longer timeline to invest. Both of those things will make the cash-flow support that we require for the development [of Al Maktoum] much more manageable.”

Part of the DWC logistics complex, the US$34 billion project will replace Dubai International as the Middle East’s major aviation hub, and is scheduled to be the world’s largest airport by the time it opens.