Abu Dhabi airports receive 6.3m passengers on travel resurgence

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Abu Dhabi International Airports handled 297,549 tonnes of air freight during the first half of the year.

Staff Reporter, Gulf Today

Abu Dhabi Airports, the operator of the five airports in the capital, released its passenger traffic report for the first half of 2022 on Wednesday.

The report revealed healthy figures for passenger traffic of 6.3 million across Abu Dhabi International, Al Ain International, Al Bateen Executive, Delma and Sir Bani Yas Island airports during the first half of 2022.

The airports also recorded 94,538 flights in H1 2022 in a clear demonstration of substantial network and passenger traffic growth while maintaining the highest levels of operational excellence.

Shareef Hashim Al Hashmi, Chief Executive Officer, Abu Dhabi airports, said, “Our passenger traffic results for this year’s first half represent another stride forward for Abu Dhabi airports and the wider industry. While 2021 was a successful year, the target for 2022 was always to build on that momentum by catering to higher numbers of travellers and expanding our airline network with partners while staying committed to the highest levels of service excellence.”

“The resumption of regional and global markets and successful efforts of airlines to accommodate demands safely and effectively, have been instrumental to achieving these figures. Looking ahead, our aim is to continue building on this success throughout the second half of 2022,” he added.

At Abu Dhabi International (AUH) alone, the Emirate’s largest airport, the number of scheduled passenger flights increased by 94 per cent compared to the first half of 2021. AUH today is connected to 101 scheduled passenger destinations served by 23 airlines, compared to 76 destinations by 19 airlines in the same period last year.

The top five countries in terms of passenger volumes at AUH during H1 2022 are India (1,280,000), Pakistan (485,000), United Kingdom (374,000), KSA (333,000) and Egypt (283,000). Meanwhile, the top five destination airports were London Heathrow (276,000), Delhi (225,000), Mumbai (221,000), Cochin (217,000) and Cairo (203,000).

Abu Dhabi International also handled 297,549 tonnes of air freight during the first half of the year, further emphasising the Emirate’s capabilities and strategic location as a hub for cargo and freight handling in the UAE and the region.

Al Bateen Executive Airport re-opens after successful completion of major upgrade works.

 Al Bateen Executive Airport has recently reopened following the successful completion of a major refurbishment project which will allow the airport to cater to increased operational demand while meeting the highest levels of safety, compliance, and accreditation.

Close cooperation between the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) and Abu Dhabi Airports (AD Airports) during the project followed all the necessary regulatory frameworks to ensure the highest level of compliance, and all the necessary approvals were received without delay.

Commenting on the development, His Excellency Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, Director General of the General Civil Aviation Authority, said: “The refurbishment project at Al Bateen Executive Airport embodies the commitment of our aviation partners in the United Arab Emirates to invest in the safety, modernisation and sustainability of the region’s only dedicated executive airport. The engagement with Abu Dhabi Airports – from project inception until completion – has served to ensure the highest level of compliance with the national standards, regulations, guidance material and international best practices outlined by the GCAA”

The essential work, completed in under 90 days, involved the resurfacing and widening of the existing 3.2-kilometre runway to accommodate wide-body aircrafts in addition to a substantial new boundary wall, upgraded ground lighting, enhanced signage and landscape. Another major part of the work completed was the upgrade and the refurbishment of the Airfield Ground Lighting (AGL) at Al Bateen Executive Airport, certifying the airport to operate Code 4D Aircrafts.

“In line with our strategic objectives, Abu Dhabi Airports (AD Airports) continues to invest in developing and maintaining our world class infrastructure. The upgrades to Al Bateen Executive Airport will result in several tangible benefits such as increased airport capacity to accommodate larger aircrafts, extending the lifetime of the runway and decreasing maintenance time and cost,” said Shareef Hashim Al Hashmi, CEO, Abu Dhabi Airports.

As part of the refurbishment activities, over 105,000 tons of asphalt was used on varying areas of the runway, shoulder areas of runway and taxiways, amounting to approximately 240,000 square metres and a combined 23 kilometres of cable were laid down, in addition to 15.5 kilometres of duct and the installation of over 400 new manholes.

“Over 800 dedicated personnel were involved in the successful completion of this project, while ensuring minimal disruption to residents, in a demonstration of our collaboration and determination to drive development. As the only dedicated executive airport in the Middle East, we are committed to providing our customers with a safe and secure facility that caters to their requirements,” concluded Frank McCrorie, Chief Operations Officer, Abu Dhabi Airports.

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