Abu Dhabi International Airport

Abu Dhabi International Airport

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Abu Dhabi International Airport is an airport
An airport is a location where aircraft such as fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, and blimps take off and land. Aircraft may be stored or maintained at an airport...

 in Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi , literally Father of Gazelle, is the capital and the second largest city of the United Arab Emirates in terms of population and the largest of the seven member emirates of the United Arab Emirates. Abu Dhabi lies on a T-shaped island jutting into the Persian Gulf from the central western...

, the capital of the United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates, abbreviated as the UAE, or shortened to "the Emirates", is a state situated in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman, and Saudi Arabia, and sharing sea borders with Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Iran.The UAE is a...

. The airport is one of the fastest growing airports in the world in terms of passengers (+34% in Q1:2008), new airline operators, and infrastructural development. The airport is now undergoing a major expansion, the total amount earmarked for projects is US$6.8 billion.

Abu Dhabi airport is the second largest in the UAE, serving 11 million passengers in 2010. Its terminal spaces are dominated by Etihad Airways
Etihad Airways
Etihad Airways is the flag carrier of the United Arab Emirates. Established in July 2003 and based at Abu Dhabi International Airport, Etihad commenced operations in November 2003....

 which is the United Arab Emirates' second largest air carrier after Emirates
Emirates Airline
Emirates is the airline based in the Emirate of Dubai part of the United Arab Emirates . Based at Dubai International Airport it is the largest airline in the Middle East, operating over 2,400 flights per week, from its hub at Terminal 3, to 111 cities in 62 countries across six continents...


The newest terminal, Terminal 3, opened in January 2009, enabling the airport to handle, approximately, 12 million passengers per annum. It is expected that passenger numbers will reach this level in 2011.

Development work has also started on a new passenger terminal, to be situated between the two runways and known as the Midfield Terminal. Upon completion in 2016, the Midfield Terminal will take the airport’s passenger capacity to more than 20 million per year.


The expansion masterplan projects include a second 4,100 m parallel runway 2 km from the existing runway (already operational as of 2009); a new 110 metre tower between the two runways with the new Air Traffic Control
Air traffic control
Air traffic control is a service provided by ground-based controllers who direct aircraft on the ground and in the air. The primary purpose of ATC systems worldwide is to separate aircraft to prevent collisions, to organize and expedite the flow of traffic, and to provide information and other...

 centre; the new Midfield Terminal (the main building and centre-piece of the new airport) which is set for first phase completion in 2014; enhanced cargo and maintenance facilities and other commercial developments on the land immediately adjacent to and north of the existing airport.

The Midfield Terminal, when opened, will handle up to 20 million passengers per year, with options for this to double in capacity to 40 million. An additional facility is also under consideration that would take the capacity to 50 million.

The new Terminal 3, opened in January 2009, a UAE Dirhams 1 billion (US$ 271.9 million) interim facility, is to cater to the airport's passenger growth before the opening of the Midfield Terminal. Used predominantly by Etihad Airways, the terminal boosted the airport's seven million passenger per year capacity to 12 million. The new Terminal 3 also added 10 new gates at the airport, two of which are Airbus A380
Airbus A380
The Airbus A380 is a double-deck, wide-body, four-engine jet airliner manufactured by the European corporation Airbus, a subsidiary of EADS. It is the largest passenger airliner in the world. Due to its size, many airports had to modify and improve facilities to accommodate it...


Abu Dhabi International Airport has a three star rating from Skytrax
Skytrax is a United Kingdom-based consultancy, the public face of Inflight Research Services, which has the largest airline and airport review and ranking site. It conducts research for commercial airlines...


The airport handled more than 10 million passengers in 2010.

Terminal 2 is capable of handling up to two million passengers per year. It was built as a solution to air traffic volumes which have outgrown the existing terminal.

The project will provide a home base for the UAE's national carrier, Etihad Airways, which will be a major user of new cargo facilities with an ultimate handling capacity of around two million tonnes of freight a year. Close to the new cargo facilities land has been allocated for commercial activities, business parks and property developments. Aircraft maintenance facilities will continue to be concentrated on the south side of the existing airport. The plan also sets aside land for the growth of other operators such as Royal Jet and Abu Dhabi Aviation. One of the first phases of the project will be the construction of a second 4,100 metre runway which will cater for the latest generation of aircraft, including the new Airbus A380
Airbus A380
The Airbus A380 is a double-deck, wide-body, four-engine jet airliner manufactured by the European corporation Airbus, a subsidiary of EADS. It is the largest passenger airliner in the world. Due to its size, many airports had to modify and improve facilities to accommodate it...

, the world’s largest passenger aircraft.

Among other aspects of the project, when completed, are the design of remote aircraft stands complete with airfield ground lighting and hydrant fuel.

Passenger services


Cathay Pacific
Cathay Pacific
Cathay Pacific is the flag carrier of Hong Kong, with its head office and main hub located at Hong Kong International Airport, although the airline's registered office is on the 33rd floor of One Pacific Place...

 service HKG to AUH continues onto Jeddah, however they don't have rights to carry passengers between AUH and JED.

Cargo airlines


Statistics for Abu Dhabi International Airport
Year Total passengers Total cargo (in tonnes) Total aircraft movements
1998 3,131,283 79,847 45,927
1999 3,522,306 92,267 50,694
2000 3,684,307 318,632 57,111
2001 3,588,015 385,055 65,134
2002 3,986,665 391,079 35,987
2004 5,247,000 N/A N/A
2005 5,465,987 N/A N/A
2006 6,289,457 257,622 75,437
2007 6,926,000 315,317 82,287
2008 9,026,000 353,820 93,163

Ground transportation

Etihad Airways provides bus coaches between Dubai
Dubai is a city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates . The emirate is located south of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula and has the largest population with the second-largest land territory by area of all the emirates, after Abu Dhabi...

and Abu Dhabi International Airport for Etihad customers.
A city bus also connects the airport to Abu Dhabi city centre.

External links