Dubai Airports conducted an operational trial involving some 1,200 Dubai residents on Saturday to test the readiness of the passenger terminal building at Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central (DWC) in advance of its opening later this month.
The trial follows a series of preliminary exercises that were carried out at the facility in recent weeks with the participation of employees of the airport and its partners.
A collaborative effort between Dubai Airports and Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects, dnata, Dubai Duty Free and control authorities such as Dubai Police, the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs and Dubai Customs, among others – the trial was designed to evaluate the readiness of staff, systems and processes at the new facility by simulating a typical airport operation.
Some 1,200 volunteers including men, women, children, senior citizens and individuals with special needs, played the role of passengers arriving and departing. During their ‘journeys’ volunteers tested way-finding signage and the flow of passenger traffic within the new building.
“As was the case with Terminal 3 and Concourse A, it is imperative that we thoroughly test every aspect of the passenger experience across the new facility before we open,” said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports. “The trial has yielded some very valuable feedback which we will be acting on to ensure we have a seamless opening in two weeks. I would like to thank all the volunteers who took time during their weekend to support to the trial.”
Upon opening, the new facility will offer full retail as well as food and beverage amenities. It is serviced by one A380 capable runway, 64 remote aircraft stands and has capacity for up to seven million passengers per year.
Dubai Airports has thus far confirmed MOUs with three airlines, two of which have identified operational start dates. Wizz Air, which provides low-cost air transport across 30 countries with 16 bases across Europe, will provide non-stop services linking DWC to Central and Eastern Europe effective October 27. Wizz Air has a fleet of 40 Airbus A320 aircraft operating over 1,500 weekly flights to 93 destinations. Jazeera Airways will start serving Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central with two weekly flights starting October 31st, 2013. Jazeera Airways serves 19 popular destinations in the Middle East from Kuwait. The airline operates seven fully-owned Airbus A320s, each fitted with a two-class cabin comprising of a Business Class and an Economy Class.
“DWC is Dubai’s airport of the future and a fundamental element of our master plan which is being designed to accommodate the tremendous passenger growth being projected until 2040 and beyond,” said Griffiths.