Dubai Airport Studies `One-Stop' Check-in, Security System to Speed Trips

Dubai World Central-Al Maktoum International, set to become the world’s largest airport, may use “one-stop” processing to get travelers in and out of aircraft more quickly.

Operator Dubai Airports has trialed Siemens AG technology that allows passengers to pass through check in, customs, immigration and security screening in one place, James Robinson, head of strategic planning, said at a conference in Sydney on July 28. Travelers usually go to different parts of an airport for each of these steps at present.

“It’s out there, it just needs to be driven forward,” Robinson said. The airport operator is deciding whether to implement the system, he said.

The new airport is the center of a planned $32 billion travel and logistics development that Dubai is building to boost inbound tourism and challenge London, Singapore and Hong Kong as a global aviation hub. Located about 40 kilometers from Dubai’s existing airport, the new airfield will eventually have the capacity to handle 160 million passengers annually using five runways and 14.3 square kilometers of terminal space.

The airport began handling cargo flights in June, with passenger services scheduled to start in March. Emirates Airline, the world’s largest international passenger carrier, plans to relocate to a dedicated terminal at the airport, which will be twice the size of Hong Kong Island, he said.

The new Al-Maktoum facility will include dedicated facilities for Airbus SAS A380 aircraft, the world’s largest commercial passenger jet. Emirates is building up a fleet of 90 A380s, which require special air bridges to reach the upper of its two passenger decks.

Dubai’s current airport, Dubai International, received 40.9 million passengers last year and is being expanded to accommodate 75 million by 2012. The emirate expects total arrivals to reach 140 million a year by 2025.

Dubai is the world’s third-biggest re-export hub after Hong Kong and Singapore. The new airfield is adjacent to the Jebel Ali port, which Robinson said will make it more efficient to load freight that arrives by sea.

To contact the reporter on this story: Robert Fenner in Melbourne

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