Dubai’s Terminal 3 opens soon


Dubai Airports will start a phased transition of operations to Dubai International’s new Terminal 3 as from October 14 this year. The ’soft’ opening will be implemented in four phases to ensure that systems and processes are working efficiently, enabling customers to make their way through the facility as easily and speedily as possible, according to an airline statement.
The Emirates Airline dedicated terminal is currently undergoing operational readiness trials to ensure that customers have an unmatched experience, whether arriving, departing or in transit, it said.
Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, president of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, and chairman of Dubai Airports said, “Terminal 3 and the associated development represent a much needed expansion of Dubai’s aviation infrastructure. The new facility will play an important role in supporting Dubai’s economic progress, and reaffirm the city’s image as an emerging global aviation hub.”  
Reiterating that Terminal 3 will be made fully operational in a phased approach, Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports said, “Raising customer service standards at Dubai International is at the heart of our strategy. We want to make absolutely sure that all the systems and processes at Terminal 3 are working smoothly and that customers experience nothing short of world class facilities and service when they use the new Terminal. It is precisely for this reason that we have decided to make Terminal 3 fully operational in phases.”
Dubai Airports conducted the first major operational trial on August 9 and later on last month, and more will be conducted at the end of September.
The expansion plan of $4.5 billion includes the construction of Terminal 3 and two associated airside facilities. This will cater to the rapid expansion of the Emirates fleet, especially to serve its Airbus A380.
The two airside facilities will have 23 gates specifically designed for the super jumbo for twin deck embarking and disembarking.
The second airside facility will be dedicated to the A380 and will be ready in 2009.
Detailed A380 compatibility tests were carried out at Dubai International in August 2007. By the end of 2008, Dubai International will have a total of seven gates for superjumbo A380.
Upon completion of the ongoing expansion, Dubai International will have 25 gates for the A380, making Dubai the world’s largest A380 dedicated facilities.
In addition, the departure and arrival halls will be located 20 m below the apron and taxiways, there will be 220 check-in counters and 14 baggage belts, 2,600 underground parking spaces and the 90 kilometre long baggage belt will handle around 15,000 items of baggage per hour.