Abu Dhabi to be the centre of air cargo excellence


Abu Dhabi Airports and Etihad Cargo will enhance Abu Dhabi International Airport, making it a state-of-the-art global air cargo centre of excellence.

The airport and airline will implement a multi-phased cargo infrastructure development strategy, starting with the imminent upgrade of Etihad’s existing air cargo terminal facilities on the Southside airport perimeters.

The programme will culminate with the inauguration of Etihad Cargo’s future home, an air cargo terminal in the East Midfield section of the airport, an area designed by Abu Dhabi Airports for future integrated cargo, logistics and integrator activities.

In the first phase, the Southside will be upgraded and completed in phases between the end of 2019 and the third quarter of 2020.

The scope includes enhancing road feeder service loading docks with levellers, insulation and floor works for faster and more efficient loading.

The phase will enhance Etihad’s pharmaceutical logistics through a dedicated Southside Pharma Terminal, adding 3,500 sq m of space for temperature-controlled handling and storage.

Mid to long-term, Abu Dhabi Airport and Etihad Cargo have agreed to designate a plot of land at the East Midfield site.

The team will invite expressions of interest to bid for the design and construction of Etihad Cargo’s next generation facility to create one of the world’s most advanced and automated air cargo terminals.

Bryan Thompson, chief executive officer of Abu Dhabi Airport says: “Today we are putting in place the right foundations and frameworks for our future cargo activity, which in a few years will re-shape this industry for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi is the future’s cargo hub for the region and the world.”

Tony Douglas, group chief executive officer of Etihad Aviation Group says: “The immediate investment in the Southside terminal will deliver a step change in the efficiency and capability of our existing facilities while the announcement of the development of a new facility reinforces Etihad’s commitment to develop Abu Dhabi as a world class hub for the logistics of the future.”

Abu Dhabi Airports is also setting the groundworks for the first phase of a bonded, non-bonded and free zone area adjoining the airport designated as Al Falah Free Zone to develop e-commerce fulfilment and logistics warehousing.