A trio of global airports point to solutions for the projected crush of world gone travel-happy
The numbers are in, and it looks like Dubai International has edged out London Heathrow as the world’s busiest airport for international passenger traffic. In the 12-month period from September 2013 to September 2014, a total of 68.9 million passengers passed through Dubai International versus 67.8 million at Heathrow, according to numbers from Airports Council International.
As with all statistics some caveats and disclaimers are in order. Taken together, London area airports (Gatwick, Stansted, et al.) served well over 100 million passengers during the same time period, making it still by far the world’s busiest city for international air travel. And despite serious capacity restrictions, LHR still managed to put up nearly a half-million aircraft movements (takeoffs and landings), as compared with 350,000 relatively unfettered operations at 24-hour DXB.
Nevertheless, Dubai’s accomplishment is to be applauded, not least because it was only in 2008 that DXB broke into the Top 20 busiest airports in the world. The meteoric rise in traffic means that the number of passengers has almost doubled in the past seven years. It will also undoubtedly add more fire to the already heated debate in the UK over the fate of London’s premier aerodrome.
The airport’s feat also points to the success of the emirate’s policies calculated to make it the home of superlatives – the tallest building, the biggest shopping mall and now, the busiest international airport in the world.
A quick look at Dubai International’s growth curve shadows the development of the emirate itself. Dubai Airport opened in 1960; By 1969 there were 9 airliness to 20 destinations, by 2004 there were 107 airlines to more e than 160 destinations. Today there are 140 airlines operating to 250 destinations.tions.
Concourse C makes up p most of the Terminal 1 complex – alsoo known as the Sheikh Rashid Terminal – and handles most commercial flights to Dubai. Terminal 2 is home to Dubai’s budget airline flydubai.
Terminal 3, which is dedicated to Emirates, was opened in 2008 along with an associated airside facility known as Concourse B. This addition nearly tripled Dubai International’s total capacity to 60 million passengers. The Terminal 3