SLOW AND STEADY
Byran Thompson, chief executive officer of ADAC, shared some updates on the company’s strategy and progress at the Midfield Terminal Building
ADAC’s Byran Thompson shares updates on Midfield Terminal and current strategy
Joining a group of fellow journalists visiting the headquarters of the Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) last month, AVB got the opportunity to meet the with Bryan Thompson, CEO of ADAC in his first appearance with Middle East media since assuming his role back in August 2018.
Kicking off the roundtable, the CEO first delved into the current strategy highlighting in particular, the company’s role in the future of its host emirate.
“ADAC is a key pillar in terms of Abu Dhabi’s future strategy, especially vi
sion 2021, and a key factor in terms of the centennial strategy for 2071. The aviation sector is a huge contributor to the GDP,” explained Thompson.
“We have some key strategies that are being put in place at the moment with the aviation sector committee, to make sure that there’s alignment at the aviation sector level, across the airport, airlines and all the agencies and stakeholders that contribute to a better aviation sector.
“We’re also looking at understanding how we contribute, particularly from KPIs, to the growth of Abu Dhabi as a whole.”
ADAC’s CEO went on to add that the organisation had been charged to increase point-to-point traffic at Abu Dhabi International (AUH) by 1.4 million additional visits by 2021, added on top of the current figures of 7.7 million passengers per annum. To realise this, ADAC is working closely with Etihad, as well as exploring opportunities with other airlines to further expand the network into Abu Dhabi.
The next topic that Thompson delved into was an update on the Midfield Terminal Building (MTB) development that is scheduled for completion by the fourth quarter of 2019. While not sharing a definitive launch date for MTB, nor confirming if everything will be set for Q42019, Thompson did share that operational tests of the facility were well underway.
He went on to emphasise that currently “there is no capacity drive to move to MTB at the moment,” but shared that “in the south side, we have an airport that’s operating, it has got enough capacity to operate.”
“We don’t want to let Abu Dhabi down when we open the Midfield. We want to be 100% ready, for ourselves and the airline to present Abu Dhabi in the best light,” added Thompson.
Featuring 65 aircraft gates, 700,000 square metres of internal space, as well as a 27-kilometre long baggage handling system capable of processing 19,000 bags per hour, MTB will reportedly be visible from more than 1.5km away once completed.
“The one thing we’re looking at is how do we make it a modern experience. The terminal was designed some time back, so part of the retrofitting pieces is having a look at how we make sure there is a new modern twist in terms of that engagement between technology and people in creating a great experience for all of our customers,” added Thompson.
According to ADAC, the first phase of MTB’s launch will require the employment of 12,00 people.
“We have seen that shift in terms of an increase in origin and destination traffic, which is good for Abu Dhabi. It creates more visitors that stay in the city itself. It’s not a huge shift but we have seen an increase in passengers starting to spend more time here,” said Thompson.
ADAC’s CEO went on to briefly discuss some of the latest developments with its free zone, an area where the airport authority is actively encouraging would-be stakeholders to invest.
In order to draw investors, ADAC has reduced its standing fees by 66% since last year and has emphasised the fact that organisations entering the free zone will benefit from the tax-free environment will no charges in both imports and exports.
Thompson added that ADAC is moving to draw investors from within the hospitality and retail markets for its Airport City district, which is located adjacent to the Midfield Terminal.
We don’t want to let Abu Dhabi down when we open the Midfield. We want to be 100% ready, for ourselves and the airline to present Abu Dhabi in the best light.”
Bryan Thompson, CEO of ADAC.