ROUTES: Ras Al Khaimah airport aims to complement Dubai growth

Abu Dhabi
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Ras Al Khaimah International Airport is stepping up efforts to become an alternative to Dubai, and is in discussions with international carriers about what would make it attractive for them to fly directly into the emirate.

Passenger numbers at the airport, which is a 45-minute drive from Dubai, rose by two-thirds in the first half of 2012 from a year before. However, the airport plans to expand its operations and expects to release a detailed masterplan in the near future.

It has already guaranteed airlines that it will match the pricing of any airport in the UAE, and set up a comprehensive supply chain of services such as ground-handling and fuel supply.

"Dubai is the centre of gravity in the UAE and its growth flows into the other emirates. But Dubai is crowded and we can complement that growth by offering airlines an alternative," says Sheikh Salem bin Sultan Al Qasimi, the chairman of RAK International Airport.

Arinc has signed a multi-million dollar 10-year contract at Routes to implement multiple airport systems at RAK. This includes the design, supply and installation of Arinc's suite of airport passenger processing solutions, as well as airport operational systems. "RAK International Airport's current expansion will see the airport ready to receive a steadily increasing number of passengers over the next few years," says the airport's chief executive Andrew Gower.