ConstructionThe runway was completed in 600 days and subsequently underwent tests over the following six to eight months in order to fulfil its CAT III-C requirements. Construction of the airport's cargo terminal, the , which cost around US$75 million, was 50% complete by the end of 2008. During the first phase of the project, the airport is planned to handle around of cargo per year, with the possibility of increasing to . The passenger terminal at this phase is designed to have a capacity of 5 million passengers per year. It was planned to be the largest airport in the world in terms of freight handled, moving up to per year in 2013.Staff Writer (2008, January 7) Arabianbusiness.com
OperationsAl Maktoum International Airport opened on 27 June 2010 with one and only cargo flights. The first flight into the airport occurred on 20 June 2010, when an landed after a flight from Hong Kong. The flight served as a test for various functions such as air traffic control, movement of aircraft on the ground, and security. According to Emirates, the flight was an "unmitigated success". On 24 February 2011, the airport was certified to handle passenger aircraft with up to 60 passengers. The first passenger aircraft touched down on 28 February 2011, an Airbus A319CJ. The airport officially opened for passenger flights on 26 October 2013 with Nas Air and Wizz Air as the two carriers to operate from the airport. In the first quarter of 2014, 102,000 passengers went through the airport. At the time of its opening, three cargo service airlines served Al Maktoum International Airport, including RUS Aviation, Skyline Air and Aerospace Consortium. Fifteen additional airlines have signed a contract to operate flights to the airport. Passenger numbers in the first half of 2016 totalled 410,278, up from 209,989 in the first half of 2015.
FacilitiesThe airport will be the largest component of Dubai World Central, with a surface area of more than . If completed as planned, the airport will have an annual cargo capacity of , and a passenger capacity of 160 to 260 million people per year. In the future it will handle around 700 million passengers. This would make it the largest airport in the world in both physical size and passenger volume. Al Maktoum International Airport intends to handle all types of aircraft. Up to four aircraft will be able to land simultaneously. The airport will include: * Three passenger terminals, including two luxury facilities; one dedicated to Emirates (airline), Emirates, the second to other carriers, and the third dedicated to low-cost carriers * Multiple concourses * Executive and royal jet centres * Hotels and shopping malls * Support and maintenance facilities: the region's only hub for Aircraft maintenance checks, A-, B-, and C-checks on all aircraft up to A380 specifications Al Maktoum International Airport will be linked to the existing Dubai International Airport by a proposed high-speed express rail system, and served by the Dubai Metro and a dedicated Dubai World Central light railway. The airport was initially planned to have six runways, but this number was reduced to five parallel runways in April 2009, with a large passenger complex in the middle. Furthermore, each runway would have extended asphalted pathways on either side which would allow aircraft to by-pass other runways and taxiways without disturbing aircraft movements of these runways and taxiways. Dubai expects an exponential rise in passenger traffic over its skies, with the presumption that it will become the primary air hub for transiting travelers from the Asia–Pacific Region, South Asia, Greater Middle East, Africa, Europe, and Australia (for the Kangaroo route: Australia to Britain and back). Several large warehouses and hangars line the westernmost part of the airport. These interlinked hangars will stretch from end-to-end of the westernmost runway. Each of these is capable of housing A380 aircraft. The airport will complement Dubai International Airport, some away. It is surrounded by a logistics hub, a luxurious golf resort, a trade and exhibition facility with 3 million square metres of exhibition space, a commercial district, and a residential and hotel area. Al Maktoum International Airport will have a total of 100,000 parking slots for automobile vehicles for its employees, Dubai residents, tourists, and other users.
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