Dubai International Airport has received the go-ahead to begin an expansion project that, when completed, will allow the airport to handle over 90 million passengers per year according to The Economic Times. The plan is estimated to cost around $7.8 billion and will increase capacity at the airport by 30 million by 2018.
“The combination of rallying tourism, Dubai’s proximity to the emerging economies of India and China, and the emirates’ established role as a trading hub, is together expected to drive traffic growth and further elevate Dubai’s status as a global centre for aviation,” Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the Chairman of Dubai Airports and President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, said in a statement.
“By 2020, 98.5 million passengers and over four million tonnes of air freight will pass through our airports. The fleets and networks of Emirates and flydubai will grow considerably to accommodate traffic and capture market share. Similarly, our infrastructure must expand to enable this growth and facilitate the trade, tourism and commerce that in turn will support the prosperity of Dubai,” he said.
Dubai’s surge into prominence over the last decade has been driven in part due to its geographic location between the east and the west. Because of this, its air traffic has increased prolifically, with passenger totals nearly tripling since 2002.
The project will include the building of a fourth terminal and an expansion of Terminal 2 along with upgraded baggage systems and more cargo space Aviation Week reports. Terminal 3 which has not yet been completed, is expected to open next year.