Airport development in the Gulf is as frantic as that of the airlines, with major expansion either under way or planned for all the major gateways.

Work has already started at Dubai International Airport to boost its annual capacity to 80 million passengers by the end of the decade, compared to the 16 million it currently carries. This will include the construction of two new concourses with dedicated facilities capable of handling up to 23 Airbus A380s.

The terminal at Doha International Airport in Qatar has undergone a major refurbishment with passenger traffic growing from 1 million in 1997 to 4 million now and the capability to grow to 7 million. But by 2007 the city will have an all-new $1.2 billion international airport adjacent to the existing site. The airport will be able to accommodate 12 million passengers annually when it opens. The new airport will have 24 stands, including three with two-level loading capability to handle the Airbus A380s that the national carrier has commitments for.

Abu Dhabi International Airport is undergoing a major redevelopment with the building of a new terminal and 4,100m (13,400ft) runway, while Muscat Seeb Airport is taking a dynamic view of the future following Oman's long-term commitment to Gulf Air. The BAA-managed airport aims to expand its terminal to enable it to increase capacity from 2.3 million to 6.5 million by 2006.

Bahrain International Airport is undertaking a $50 million expansion which will see the construction of a satellite terminal, control tower and the conversion of the taxiway into an emergency runway, which is set to open in 2005.

Source: Flight International