Concourse A at the airport’s Terminal 3 features 20 contact gates capable of handling the A380 superjumbo, and is the first such facility anywhere in the world.
The concourse was opened on 2nd January, with four gates available, following passenger trials in December. EK 003 scheduled for departure at 1430hrs from Dubai to Heathrow, London became Concourse A’s first flight, ushering in a new era in Dubai’s aviation history.
Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports said, “Just as we did with what turned out to be a flawless opening of Terminal 3 and Concourse B in 2008 – which was a much larger and more complex exercise involving the complete transfer of Emirates airline’s operations to the new facility – we are opening Concourse A in stages with more gates coming online in each successive phase. We believe that this approach of gradual transition will enable us and all our partners to ensure smooth operations and help us to deliver on our customer service commitment.”
A another critical element of the $7.8 billion Strategic Plan 2020, Concourse A is part of the Terminal 3 complex exclusively built for the use of Emirates airline, and will provide Dubai International’s the much needed room as its passenger traffic approaches full capacity. Dubai International’s annual passenger capacity will increase from 60 million to 75 million when Concourse A is fully operational, while traffic for 2012 is expected to reach 57 million.