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

Aviation Business - - CONTENTS -

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.

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