To keep up with the vast expansion by its home carrier, Dubai airport has over the years built several new concourses. Until a few weeks ago the airport could theoretically cope with a maximum of 60 million passengers per year.
With an estimated (figures to be published end of Jan 2013) of more than 55 million passengers, Dubai will more than likely make it into the 2012 top 10 of the worlds busiest airports. It is already leaving large international airports like Amsterdam, New York JFK, San Francisco and Singapore well behind. Quite an achievement given Dubai DXB airport has only 2 runways and has a limited amount of space for expansion.
A few days into the new year, the brand new Concourse A (part of Terminal 3) was officially opened. This should eventually increase the airports capacity to 75 million per year! With 20 extra boarding gates feeding directly into the upper and main decks of the super jumbos, Concourse A is the worlds first dedicated A380 terminal. This brings the total number of A380 gates at Dubai airport to 27.
I got to try out the Concourse A experience last week when coming back from Paris CDG; an uneventful arrival including a short Skytrain ride into Concourse B, and one was back onto familiar ground.
The image shows the brand new $3US billion complex, which will wisely been opened in several phases; initially only 4 of the 20 gates are used in order to make sure everything works as planned. The disaster opening of London Heathrow Terminal 5 in 2008, has not been forgotten!
Eventually the new Dubai World Central (DWC) airport will replace DXB, but that will take time... Meanwhile architects are planning another new concourse at DXB to keep up with demand.