Sharjah Airport to expand

Sharjah Airport Authorities release plans to expand the airport to cope with an increase in budget airlines entering the region.

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By  Laura Barnes Published  April 24, 2005

Sharjah International Airport will have the capacity to handle eight million passengers by 2007 after completion of its expansion plan, which is currently underway. The expansion will see the airport add a new departure lounge, an arrival area and a transit area, as well as more restaurants and coffee shops. Other work that is currently underway is an increase in seating capacity, a new public address system, flight information and a departure control system to facilitate the checking of passengers and their luggage. “The expansion programme is aimed at making the flow of passengers more convenient, faster and safer. Not only that but the construction of additional air bridges and more holding lounges will allow the airport to handle a minimum of ten passenger aircraft at the same time,” said Dr Ghanem Al Hajri, director general, Department of Civil Aviation & Sharjah Airport Authority. The construction plans will also see the addition of three more parking bays for passenger aircraft taking the number of passenger parking bays to 11. It is expected that the airport will eventually be able to park around 80 aircraft at the same time — both passenger and cargo. The director general also announced that as part of the expansion plan it was in talks with several airlines on the issue of landing rights. At the moment, however, there is a problem with limited facilities, but Air India Express, the new budget carrier, has already approached the airport for landing rights. “We are willing to give them landing rights as Sharjah is the ideal airport for such a service, we offer fast turnaround and easy access which is exactly what budget airlines require,” said Hajri. Also as part of the expansion programme, more warehouses are to be added to the cargo division, including a special handling area for live animals.

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