A major upgrade of Dubai International Airport will increase freight capacity to more than 3.1 million tons per year by 2018.
The $7.8 billion Strategic Plan 2020 will see construction start later this year on a 98,000-square-foot site adjacent to the airport’s existing 1.2 million-ton capacity Cargo Mega Terminal to add an extra 300,000 tons of capacity.
“Dubai International’s original cargo facilities, Hall A and Freight Gate 1, located adjacent to the CMT, will also undergo a complete refurbishment,” said airport manager Dubai Airports. “Together these facilities will be dedicated for the sole use of Emirates airline.”
A new transhipment facility is also now under construction, which will handle cargo transferred between DIA and Dubai World Central, Dubai’s second airport which is also managed by Dubai Airports.
Dubai Airports said Dubai World Central saw cargo volumes surge 153 percent year-over-year to 56,271 tons during the second quarter of 2012.
The two airports are expected to see volumes pass 4 million tons by 2020, up from 2.2 million tons in 2011.
Chris Garton, SVP of operations at Dubai Airports, said the continued growth in cargo volumes at DIA as well as the restricted size of the airport meant that cargo facilities could no longer be clustered into one area.
“The new infrastructure will not only increase our capacity but go a long way to simplifying what has become an increasing complex cargo operation as the airport has grown,” he added.