Airlines

Abu Dhabi Airport Midfield Terminal: Opening 2023?

Whereas I’ll imagine it when it really occurs, may 2023 lastly be the yr that Abu Dhabi’s a lot anticipated new terminal opens?

The fundamentals of Abu Dhabi Airport’s new terminal

Again in 2012, building began on a brand new Midfield Terminal at Abu Dhabi Worldwide Airport. The brand new terminal was supposed to extend the airport’s capability by as much as 45 million passengers per yr, greater than doubling the prevailing capability. The terminal is a complete of 742,000 sq. meters (round eight thousands and thousands sq. ft).

Abu Dhabi’s new terminal was initially speculated to open in 2017. To be clear, that timeline wasn’t only a imaginative and prescient a few years upfront, however slightly in early 2017, the plan was nonetheless for the terminal to open the identical yr. Nonetheless, shortly thereafter, it was introduced that there can be a delay of as much as two years on the terminal, with a brand new deliberate opening of 2019.

In 2019 it was wanting like the brand new terminal would really open, and trials have been even run with volunteers, to ensure the terminal was largely working as deliberate from a passenger expertise standpoint. On the time, the terminal was allegedly 98% full.

Sadly even following that, not a complete lot occurred. In 2021 we then realized that the operator of the airport had canceled its contract with the consortium that was speculated to be constructing the practically $3 billion terminal, although the challenge was practically full.

For practically six years now, Abu Dhabi has had a terminal that’s practically able to go, but it surely stays closed.

Building of Abu Dhabi Airport Midfield Terminal

Why the Abu Dhabi Midfield Terminal hasn’t opened

Building delays are frequent, particularly at airports. For instance, there was the entire catastrophe of Berlin Brandenburg Airport, probably essentially the most dysfunctional airport challenge we’ve ever seen. Whereas Abu Dhabi did encounter some minor points with its new terminal, that doesn’t appear to be the basis reason for the delay within the terminal’s opening.

Fairly the delay appears to largely be as a result of the federal government of Abu Dhabi has shifted its aviation technique lately. The Midfield Terminal isn’t really at present wanted when it comes to capability.

The thought for the brand new Midfield Terminal was developed at a time when Etihad needed to turn out to be a serious world airline, and compete with each Emirates and Qatar. On the time Etihad had a whole bunch of planes on order, and was going to get larger year-after-year, and in consequence wanted a much bigger airport.

Beginning about 5 years in the past, the federal government of Abu Dhabi had a change of coronary heart, and wasn’t keen to pour limitless cash into the airline anymore. Since then, Etihad has turn out to be extra of a boutique airline, and the airline has basically shrunk itself into profitability.

Capability-wise, there’s no want for the Midfield Terminal. Nonetheless, when it comes to passenger expertise, Abu Dhabi positive may use a brand new terminal. The way in which I see it, this might play out in a single of some methods:

  • Will the previous terminals be closed altogether, and all operations can be moved to the brand new terminal?
  • Will a number of terminals stay operational, and simply be underutilized?
  • Will the opening of the brand new terminal simply be delayed endlessly, as a value saving measure?
  • Whereas maybe unlikely, may the brand new terminal challenge be canceled altogether, although it’s so near completion, provided that there’s no actual want for it?
Rendering of Abu Dhabi Airport Midfield Terminal

May the Abu Dhabi Midfield Terminal open in 2023?

Momberger Airport Info is reporting that the brand new Abu Dhabi Midfield Terminal will open towards the tip of 2023. Particularly, the opening will possible happen on December 2, 2023, which is the UAE’s Nationwide Day.

The plan is allegedly to completely shut down Terminal 1 and Terminal 2, and to cease utilizing Terminal 3. Which means all operations would transfer to the Midfield Terminal, although if demand grows sufficient, Terminal 3 may very well be reopened sooner or later.

It’s anybody’s guess if that is how issues play out. Even when the intent is to open the brand new terminal later this yr, lots can change between from time to time.

Personally I’m inclined to imagine that the brand new terminal will in actual fact open within the not too distant future:

  • Aviation in Abu Dhabi has stabilized, and Etihad is in a great spot, now not lighting billions of {dollars} on fireplace
  • Even when the extra capability of the brand new terminal isn’t wanted, certainly everybody in Abu Dhabi desires a greater airport expertise, and the brand new terminal would supply that
  • Because the new terminal is kind of full, it’s not like that huge of an funding is required anymore to get this terminal opened
Rendering of Abu Dhabi Airport Midfield Terminal

Backside line

Abu Dhabi Worldwide Airport’s new Midfield Terminal nonetheless hasn’t opened, six years after its preliminary supposed opening date. The delay isn’t attributable to some building catastrophe, however slightly as a result of the terminal simply hasn’t been wanted for the previous a number of years, as Etihad has been shrinking slightly than rising.

It’s now being reported that the Midfield Terminal will open in late 2023, across the UAE’s Nationwide Day. Right here’s to hoping that this timeline sticks, as a result of it positive can be good for Etihad to have a extra aggressive floor expertise, particularly given different hubs within the area.

What’s your tackle when the Abu Dhabi Midfield Terminal will open?

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