DUBAI: Following news that Britain's Airports Commission has rejected plans for a new London airport, Dubai Airports says it will invest US$32 billion in its Dubai World Central (DWC) facility - currently used for freighter traffic only - to eventually serve more than 200 million passengers a year.
The company says the project's first phase will take six to eight years to complete and be capable of handling 100 A380 aircraft simultaneously.
With passenger traffic forecast to reach nearly 100 million per annum at Dubai International (DXB) by 2020, it is expected that DWC will replace the existing passenger and cargo hub by the middle of that decade.
"Our future lies at DWC," declared Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths. "The announcement of this AED120 billion (£20.16 billion) development of DWC is both timely and a strong endorsement of Dubai's aviation industry. With limited options for further growth at Dubai International, we are taking that next step to securing our future by building a brand new airport that will not only create the capacity we will need in the coming decades but also provide state of the art facilities that revolutionise the airport experience on an unprecedented scale," he added.
Commenting on his decision to reject the idea of a new hub airport for London, Airports Commission chairman Howard Davies said he wasn't "persuaded that a very large airport in the Thames estuary is the right answer to London's and the UK's connectivity needs".
While recognising the need for a single hub airport he went on to add: "We believe this should be a part of an effective system of competing airports."
Claiming the cost of a new airport – rather than building a second runway at Gatwick or a third at Heathrow – would be £70-£90 billion compared with "probably £30-£60 billion" for expanding the two existing facilities, Davies noted: "There will be those who argue that the commission lacks ambition and imagination."
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