Global majors vie for Abu Dhabi airport


FOUR international airport operators are bidding for the contract to manage Abu Dhabi International Airport, according to the Abu Dhabi Airports Authority (ADAC).

ADAC said it was considering bids to operate its new international airport from Changi Airport in Singapore, Munich Airport, Vienna Airport and BAA in London, a Gulf News report said.
“The Government of Abu Dhabi has opted to change the aviation structure from department-based to corporate structure to ensure a swift and effective development and expansion programme of the airport,” Khalifa Al Mazrouei, ADAC chairman and managing director, was quoted by the paper as saying.
A final decision is expected within the next month, Al Mazrouei said.
Abu Dhabi is in the midst of a $6.8 billion airport expansion project, which will increase capacity from seven million passengers a year today to 20 million in 2010.
The expansion plans are being led by the growth Etihad Airways, which carried just over one million passengers in 2005. Al Mazrouei said Etihad will grow in the coming years and will carry 20 million passengers by 2018. By November 2007, a new 4,100-metre category III runway will come online to accommodate the new generation of wide-bodied aircraft, including the Airbus A380s.
In April 2008, the airport will complete its third terminal, which will accommodate up to five million passengers and will have eight gates and will be capable of handling traffic from the new generation of wide-bodied aircraft.