Dubai’s Plane Crazy

By Sean Ballent

The largest airport terminal in the world now belongs to Dubai. The completion of the $4.5 billion dollar Grand Terminal 3 at Dubai International Airport comes at a time of global financial turmoil. The soft opening of the Emirates-dedicated terminal will be carried out in four phases to ensure the efficiency of the structures systems and processes. The terminal, which is currently undergoing operational readiness trials, looks to ensure customers with an unheralded experience, whether arriving, departing, or in transit.

The world-class terminal will boost the airports total capacity by 20 million. Its six floors are assisted by 157 lifts, 97 escalators, 82 moving walkways, 27 truck lifts, and eight “Sky Trains” that are capable of handling 47 people a pop. Terminal 3 offers travelers with state of the art electronics, high-end shops, man-made waterfalls, spas, and more. The departure area on level 3 is as big as 94 football fields and equipped with the latest services and technology.

Dubai International Airport is used by 123 airlines catering to 210 destinations worldwide. The airport is currently operating beyond its capacity of 25 million passengers a year. The expansion project not only includes the construction of terminal 3 but two associated airside facilities. The second airside facility, which will be ready in 2009, is dedicated to the A380 superjumbo. Upon completion, the facility will have 25 gates specifically catering to the A380, making it the worlds largest.

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