We provide a snapshot of some of the latest news stories from across Asia-Pacific and the Middle East.
ABU DHABI’S NEW TERMINAL TO OPEN IN NOVEMBER
As Asia-Pacific and Middle East Airports magazine went to press, the final operational readiness trials were taking place in Abu Dhabi International Airport’s new state-of-the-art Terminal A ahead of its November 1 opening.
More than 6,000 locals have taken part in the trials for the new terminal, which is expected to transform travel the to UAE gateway and boost Abu Dhabi’s position as a global hub for trade and business.
Covering a total area of 742,000sqm, Terminal A will be among the largest airport terminals in the world and will significantly increase Abu Dhabi International Airport’s passenger and cargo capacity.
For, once operational, the new terminal will be capable of accommodating up to 45 million passengers per year. It will also be able to process 11,000 travellers per hour and allow the airport to simultaneously handle nearly 80 aircraft aircraft at any given time.
According to the airport, the design of Terminal A blends modern, lightweight aesthetics with “functional brilliance”. In line with the UAE’s sustainability aspirations and targets, the building features energy-efficient lighting, advanced Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) systems and has incorporated sustainable materials in its construction.
A fully integrated solar photovoltaic system has been installed on the roof of Terminal A’s car park, which currently powers a three-megawatt (MW) plant that is saving nearly 5,300 tons of CO2 annually.
Terminal A’s facilities will include a relaxation zone and 163 retail and food and beverage outlet designed to cater to all tastes and pockets.
His Excellency, Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, chairman of Abu Dhabi Airports, said: “As Abu Dhabi’s new gateway to the world, Terminal A is an embodiment of Abu Dhabi Airports’ commitment to support the emirate’s sustainable economic development.
“The opening of the facility, which is on a par with the largest and grandest terminals on our planet, turns over a new page in Abu Dhabi’s 55-year aviation history. A beacon of modernity and sophistication, it will be a pivotal driver for our emirate’s growth by spurring tourism and trade.”
KUALA LUMPUR AND INCHEON CEMENT MEGAHUB STATUS
Kuala Lumpur is the most connected airport in the Asia-Pacific region and the fourth most connected in the world, according to OAG’s newly released Megahubs 2023 data.
Tokyo Haneda (5th) and Incheon (8th) are the only other ACI Asia-Pacific and Middle East gateways to make the global Top 10, although the region is better represented in the 11-20 rankings with Bangkok Suvarnabhumi (11th), Singapore Changi (13th), Manila-Ninoy Aquino (15th), Dubai International (16th) and Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta (19th) making the cut.
DXB’s ranking ensures that it maintained its status as the best- connected airport in the Middle East and Africa.
The Top 20 Global Megahubs show an even spread of connectivity, with six located in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, six in North America, and seven in Asia-Pacific.
“OAG Megahubs demonstrates the enduring vitality of international connectivity,” said John Grant, chief analyst of OAG.
“From London Heathrow’s resurgence to the impressive ascent of Asian hubs like Kuala Lumpur, these findings underscore the resilience and adaptability of airports worldwide.”
PERTH UNVEILS PLANS TO GROW REGIONAL TRAFFIC
Perth Airport has started work on three key projects in the Airport Central precinct that will help cater for Western Australia’s growing regional aviation sector.
These works come off the back of almost 550,000 intrastate travellers passing through Perth Airport in August – the highest single month regional passenger number on record.
The projects include expanding the current Terminal 2 apron, building a new maintenance hangar for VARA – Virgin Australia Group’s regional and charter flying operation – and the development of a new Aviation Support Precinct to provide additional aviation support facilities for airport operators.
Acting CEO of Perth Airport, Kate Holsgrove, enthused: “Perth Airport’s continuous and efficient operations are crucial for the viability of the A$83 billion WA resource sector. Following the last resources boom, the opening of Terminal 2 (T2) in 2013 made a significant impact
on how efficiently the airport operated, creating more capacity and a greatly improved customer experience.
“Since opening more than 10 years ago, the terminal has experienced a 54% increase in passenger numbers. The apron has now reached capacity with aircraft parking on taxiways overnight to be ready for the early morning peak departures.
“Based on the demand of our airline partners, we will deliver an additional six remote parking positions by early next year and we are also looking at delivering an additional 11 positions, providing 55 parking positions for T2 in the future – providing a 45% increase in capacity.”
SAUDIA ARABIA’S NEW RED SEA AIRPORT HANDLES FIRST FLIGHTS
On September 21, a Saudia flight from Riyadh became the first aircraft to operate to Saudi Arabia’s new Red Sea International Airport (RSI), which is being developed by Red Sea Global (RSG) as part of the creation of a new luxury tourism destination.
The airline recently signed an agreement to serve RSI and will now operate twice-weekly services to the new gateway from Riyadh’s King Khalid International Airport.
The agreement with Saudia also provides a framework for RSG, RSI operator, daa International, and the airline to undertake joint research on the use of Lower Carbon Aviation Fuel (LCAF) and Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) at the airport. According to RSG, the use of electric vertical take-off and landing jets (eVTOL) to reduce emissions from air travel to the Red Sea will also be evaluated.
“We promised to make the Red Sea a place where people from all around the world would come to experience the best of Saudi culture, hospitality, and nature,” enthused RSG’s group CEO, John Pagano.
“Now, with the first flight touching down at Red Sea International Airport, and our first resorts receiving bookings, Saudi Arabia’s position on the global tourism map is all but secured.”