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NEWS Last modified on November 20, 2016

Dubai International wraps ATC tower in huge flag to celebrate UAE's 45th anniversary

Dubai International Airport has picked a novel way to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the United Arab Emirates – wrapping the nation's flag around its Air Traffic Control (ATC) tower.

The 700sqm flag brings a distinctive new-look to the ATC tower ahead of the UAE's National Day on December 2.

Dubai Airports reveals that it took a six-man team using special access ropes 12 days to install the red, green and white flag, which it describes as "stunning".

Dubai International Airport (DXB) is the busiest international airport in the world handling in excess of 78 million passengers.

In other news, Dubai Airports notes that Dubai World Central–Al Maktoum International Airport (DWC) continues to grow as a gateway, handling 191,950 passengers in the third quarter of 2016 – up 161% on the corresponding period a year ago.

The huge upturn, from the admittedly modest Q3 2015 total of 73,466 passengers, makes it one of the fastest growing airports in the world for both passenger and cargo traffic.

For DWC is already among the world’s top 20 airports for international freight volumes.
The latest figures mean that DWC welcomed 602,228 passengers in the nine months ending September 30 – a rise of 112% compared to the same period in 2015. 

According to Dubai Airports, passenger traffic at DWC is mainly driven by flydubai, one of Dubai’s two flagship carriers, which in addition to its operations at Dubai International Airport's Terminal 2, operates 35 weekly flights to five destinations from DWC. 

Qatar Airways and Wizz Air are the two other major carriers carrying out scheduled passenger operations from DWC.

A total of three passenger carriers operate an average of 140 flights weekly to 10 international destinations from DWC, which is also home to 32 scheduled cargo operators that connect the airport to as many as 107 destinations around the world.
DWC cargo2
During the third quarter DWC handled 215,556 tonnes of freight compared to 219,131 tonnes handled during the corresponding period in 2015, down 1.6%.

The year to date cargo as at the end of September reached 645,698 tonnes, a contraction of 2.5% compared to 662,143 tonnes recorded during the first nine months of 2015.

Commenting on the results, Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports, says: “We are very happy with the way passenger traffic has been growing at DWC. But this is only the beginning.

"By the end of next year the airport will see tremendous growth as it becomes the new home for flydubai.

"The project to expand the annual capacity of the passenger terminal at DWC from five million to 26 million passengers in underway and on track to be completed by the third quarter of 2017.”

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