Al Maktoum International Airport at Dubai World Central (DWC) has seen its year-to-date cargo volumes increase by 255.6 per cent to 519,851 tonnes, because of airlines including Emirates SkyCargo moving from Dubai International Airport.
DWC has seen two quarters of triple digit cargo growth because of full freighter flights relocating from Dubai International. In the first quarter it handled 76,816 tonnes, up 42.3 per cent. The second quarter was up 308 per cent to 199,751 tonnes and it handled 243,284 tonnes in the third quarter, a year-on-year increase of 462.5 per cent.
DWC owner Dubai Airports, its chief executive officer, Paul Griffiths, says: “The permanent relocation of pure cargo operators to DWC as well as the influx of cargo charter flights will continue to drive the growth in freight volumes at DWC and we are working to expand our facilities to accommodate anticipated growth.”
Flights were diverted to DWC while runways at Dubai International were being upgraded between 1 May and 20 July. When Dubai International was operating one runway, cargo volumes dropped by 13.3 per cent to 182,028 tonnes in May, 14.3 per cent to 180,025 tonnes in June and 10.7 per cent to 184,720 tonnes. The runways were closed while resurfacing work took place, runway lighting was upgraded and additional taxiways were created.
Cargo facilities are being expanded at DWC. The Dnata managed cargo terminal is being expanded from 250,000 tonnes to 300,000 tonnes, while Emirates SkyCargo has a terminal with the capacity to handled 700,000 tonnes of cargo a year, including perishables and pharmaceuticals.
As reported in Air Cargo Week on 15 September 2014, DWC plans to expand its cargo capacity to 16 million tonnes, as part of a 120 billion dirham ($32 billion) project. The expanded cargo facilities would cover eight square kilometres of the 56 square kilometre airport. The plans have been approved by the United Arab Emirates vice president and prime minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. No timeframe has been given for the expansion and the work on the cargo facilities would be carried out during the final phase.