Dubai’s Al Maktoum is set to become the airport with the largest passenger handling capacity in the world, once its terminal building has been extended.
The present holder of the busiest airport title is Hartsfield-Jackson in Atlanta, which processed 101 million travelers in 2015. When the work on Al Maktoum is finished in 2025, it will be able to handle a theoretical maximum of 225 million.
Local firm Al Jaber LEGT Engineering & Contracting will work on the first phase of the project, which will increase the Passenger Terminal Building from 66,000 square metres to 146,000.
The departure building will house 64 ordinary check-in counters and an additional 10 dedicated to business clients. The arrivals building will be fitted with a new immigration hall complete with 55 control counters. Â
Other expanded facilities will include 12 boarding lounges and the extension of the emigration transfer and security area.
A baggage screening area for arrivals will be added and the current baggage reclaim area will be augmented with three more carrousels.
Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, president of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, said: "The announcement marks a milestone in the journey of Al Maktoum International, which is set to become the world’s largest airport.
"Al Maktoum is being designed to become an airport of the future. We are building a range of amenities and facilities that will increase capacity and significantly enrich the airport experience."
Work on the first phase is set to be completed by June 2017.
Dubai International, the emirates present air hub, was the world’s third busiest airport in 2015 with 78 million users; second place was Beijing Capital with 90 million.
Image: An aerial shot of Al Maktoum Airport (EIAST/Wikimedia Commons)