Dubai continues to fly high

By: | at 08:00 PM | Channel(s): Air Cargo News  

By Karen E. Thuermer, AJOTNed Laird, managing director of Air Cargo Management Group in Seattle, was quoted last year by the Puget Sound Business Journal as stating that limited space for air cargo expansion at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport has been limited the airport’s cargo growth. That if an additional warehousing site were developed, it would be key to attracting freight forwarders and freight to the airport.
If he is right, then Dubai is aiming for a huge home run.
The Arabs there are at it again. The UAE emirate is now developing an international airport that should knock the competition’s socks off. It’s called Al Maktoum International Airport, part of Dubai World Central (DWC). If you haven’t heard about it, you have now and will again many times over. That’s because, simply put, when completed it will be colossal.
Here are the details to make the point. When completed the Al Maktoum International Airport will be 10 times the size of the current Dubai International Airport and Dubai Cargo Village combined; have capacity for over 150 million passengers per year, almost 30% more than Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport; have capacity for 12 million tons of cargo annually—three times more than Memphis International Airport; be able to handle all next-generation aircraft, including the A380 super-jumbo jet; have six parallel runways 4.5 kilometers in length and separated by a minimum of 800 meters to allow simultaneous take-offs and landings; and have two control towers, one, which at 92 meters high, will be the tallest freestanding ATC tower in the Middle East.
The tower will be fully equipped with the latest in avionics and navigational aids, thereby making it possible for up to four aircraft to land simultaneously, 24 hours a day, thereby minimizing in-air queuing. It will be fully equipped with the latest in avionics and navigational aids.
Already construction of the airport’s approximately $75 million cargo terminal is 50% complete. The first runway at Al Maktoum International Airport was completed on time in the projected 600 days - an aviation record for the fastest A380 enabled 4.5 kilometer CAT III runway construction. The first phase of the project will see the terminal initially handle 700,000 tons per annum. The entire project is expected to be fully built-out and operational by 2017.
Al Maktoum International Airport will be used by foreign carriers only. Emirates Airlines and Emirates SkyCargo operations will remain at Dubai International Airport. This is critical since Emirates Airlines is growing faster than air traffic control systems can handle.
Dubai International Airport’s cargo volume is growing at a rapid 11% clip, according to Airports Council International’s 2007 top 50 air cargo airports index. Last year it climbed to 13th place from 18th place in 2006. Some of this growth can be attributed to increasing Asia-to-Europe cargo traffic, says Mark Smyth, senior economist, International Air Transport Association (IATA).
The mammoth airport is part of the larger Dubai Logistics City (DLC), the world’s first truly multi-modal integrated logistics platform in a single-bonded free zone environment. It also includes DWC Aviation City and Jebel Ali Port. Located in Jebel Ali, 25 miles from Dubai International Airport, DLC is scheduled to be operational at year’s end. Dubai authorities bill it as being designed as the region’s “unchallenged logistics hub” intended to cater to some two billion people throughout the Middle East, Indian Sub-continent, Africa and the CIS. As with all air-related business in the region, Dubai authorities quickly point out these markets are within three-to-four hours flying time from Dubai.
“Also, its proximity of the Jebel Ali Port, now the 7th largest container port in the world, means that the port and the new airport will be linked in one common bonded environment offering Free Zone status,” states Michael Proffitt, DLC CEO. “A global hub needs the density of fl

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American Journal of Transportation