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Abu Dhabi International Airport celebrates 30th anniversary

Abu Dhabi International Airport celebrates 30th anniversary

Abu Dhabi International Airport is celebrating its 30th anniversary.

The capital’s international gateway has seen over 126 million passengers pass through the airport since its opening at its current location in January 1982.

Having historically been based in Al Bateen since 1969, Abu Dhabi International Airport started operation at its current location 38 kilometres outside the city of Abu Dhabi in 1982.

Terminal 1 covered 5,200 square metres and catered for three million passengers per year, which was later increased to five million passengers per year when Terminal 1A was opened.

On the occasion of the 30th anniversary, Khalifa Al Mazrouei, chairman of ADAC, said: “Abu Dhabi Airports Company is proud to be celebrating this special occasion and highlighting Abu Dhabi International Airport’s achievements over the past thirty years.

“The emirate of Abu Dhabi has experienced remarkable development in this short period of time, with Abu Dhabi International Airport being a vital part of the capital’s growth.

“Already established as a major international hub for travellers around the globe, Abu Dhabi International Airport is committed to further developing into a leading airport in the region, and a key contributor to the Abu Dhabi 2030 vision of economic diversification.”

The past 30 years have been particularly successful for Abu Dhabi International Airport in terms of airline and infrastructure developments. Etihad Airways launched in 2003 and then Terminal 2 opened in 2005 with a passenger capacity of two million passengers per year.

Four years later in 2009, Terminal 3 was delivered, providing Etihad Airways with a dedicated terminal and a handling capacity of an additional five million passengers per year.

In the same year, the 4,100 metres North Runway was completed doubling the airport’s runway capacity, while being the first airport in the UAE with CATIIIB capability.

In 2011, Abu Dhabi International Airport saw the completion of the iconic Air Traffic Control Complex, developed to enhance the capacity and efficiency of air traffic services at the airport and cater to the anticipated growth in air traffic in the years to come.

During the same year, ADAC completed an enhancement and refurbishment project at Terminal 1 to align its facility and offerings to that of Terminal 3 and other world class airports.

Today, Abu Dhabi International Airport caters to 53 international airlines connecting Abu Dhabi with more than 85 destinations in over 49 countries globally.

Passenger numbers have also continued to increase over the past 30 years positioning Abu Dhabi International Airport as one of the fastest growing hubs in the world.

In the coming five years, ADAC will be focusing on achieving further competitive milestones with the completion of the new Midfield Terminal Building (MTB), which is scheduled to open in 2017.

The 700,000 square meter terminal building is a landmark project being undertaken in Abu Dhabi and the UAE, and will be able to handle 27-30 million passengers per year when it opens.