The new Dubai World Central-Al Maktoum International Airport saw its first flight yesterday in readiness for its full opening for cargo operations on 27 June.
Emirates Flight EK9883, a Boeing 777 freighter operating Hong Kong-Dubai and piloted by Captain Ahmad Bin Huzaim and First Officer Nabil Yousuf Ahmad Mohammad Rai Al Boom, touched down at 1650 local time.
Phase 1 of the airport will feature one A380 capable runway, 64 remote stands, one cargo terminal with annual capacity for 250,000 tonnes of cargo and a passenger terminal building designed to accommodate five million passengers per year.
When completed, Dubai World Central-Al Maktoum International will be the largest airport in the world with five runways, four terminal buildings and capacity for 160 million passengers and 12 million tonnes of cargo. Paul Griffiths, managing director of the airport (in suit), presides over the ribbon cutting ceremony.
The facility opens initially for cargo carriers, with passenger operations currently slated to start up at the end of March 2011 in concert with the IATA schedule change.
In the short term Dubai World Central-Al Maktoum International will increase the airport capacity of Dubai to accommodate the 48% increase in cargo volumes from 1.9 to 3 million tonnes that is anticipated by 2015. In the long term it will serve as a multi-modal logistics hub for 12 million tonnes of freight and a global gateway for the 150 million passengers per annum that are expected to pass through Dubai by 2030.