Abu Dhabi International (AUH) airport’s new Terminal A will begin operations on November 1, 2023.
A report by UAE state-run news agency WAM has indicated that Etihad Airways will operate a ceremonial flight on October 31.
Several airlines will subsequently transition to Terminal A in three phases over a period of two weeks.
Wizz Air Abu Dhabi and 15 other international airlines will fly from the new Terminal starting November 1.
From November 9, Etihad Airways will operate 16 daily flights, before completing their transition to their new home on November 14, together with Air Arabia Abu Dhabi and 10 other airlines.
From November 14, a total of 28 airlines will operate from Terminal A.
“With final preparations almost complete, I am proud to say we are ready to open Terminal A to the public on November 1. We will see a rapid increase in the number of flights operating from Terminal A as of November 1st to the 14th,” said Elena Sorlini, managing director and interim CEO at Abu Dhabi Airports.
Once operational, the new terminal will accommodate up to 45 million passengers per year.
It will be able to process 11,000 travellers per hour and operate 79 aircraft at any given time. At triple the size of the previous terminal, and with flights to 117 destinations worldwide, it will increase both the frequency and reach of flights to and from Abu Dhabi.
Terminal A, when fully operational, will be feature 35,000 sqm of shopping space with 163 retail stored and food & beverage options. The terminal will also have two health and beauty spas along with a 138-key hotel as well as an open-air lounge.
Terminal A will will reportedly be the first in the world to include all nine biometric airport touchpoints. In the first phase, biometric solutions will be installed in key areas such as self-service bag drops, immigration e-gates and boarding gates.
When fully operational, it will use facial recognition technology to screen passengers and minimise wait times. Its baggage handling system will be capable of processing up to 19,200 bags per hour. There will also be 65 parking stands connecting aircraft with allocated boarding gates.
The X-shaped building features the Sana Al Nour, one of the largest indoor public art features in the Middle East, standing at 22 metres tall and 17 metres wide.
The new Terminal A will also focus on its green credentials. It will reduce water consumption by 45 per cent, while more than 7,500 solar panels will power a 3 MW plant that reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 5,300 tonnes annually.
An Advanced Surface Movement Control System, regarded to be the first of its kind in the Middle East, will allow planes to land quickly and safely during low-visibility weather conditions.
More than 6,000 volunteers were selected to participate in the trials of the new terminal recently. The volunteers include Abu Dhabi Airports staff members, and volunteers including students, families and stakeholders from the aviation ecosystem. The operational trials involved simulations designed to stress-test equipment, staff and procedures in key operating areas.