US firms in fight for Abu Dhabi terminal

An all-American short list of consultants is vying for the design contract on the main terminal of Abu Dhabi International Airport, which is to be re-developed at a cost of US $5.7 billion (AED21 billion).

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By  Sean Cronin Published  October 29, 2005

An all-American short list of consultants is vying for the design contract on the main terminal of Abu Dhabi International Airport, which is to be re-developed at a cost of US $5.7 billion (AED21 billion). Skidmore Owings and Merrill LLP (SOM), Hellmuth, Obata+Kassabaum Inc (HOK), Fentress Bradburn Architects and Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates have been short-listed from an original list of ten international firms. A jury comprised of international architects and aviation experts will select the best design on 5th December. “Abu Dhabi’s rapid development into a major regional business, commercial and tourism hub warrants the creation of best-of-breed airport infrastructure, which will be the gateway for the emirate’s future growth; the mega Midfield Terminal Complex has to be an iconic embodiment of the ambitious plans for the United Arab Emirates’ capital,” said Khalifa Al Mazrouei, chairman of the Supervision Committee for the Expansion of Abu Dhabi International Airport (SCADIA). “SCADIA has invited a few select individuals — all experts in their fields — to adjudicate on the winning design, which has to combine efficiency, practicability and vision whilst...blending with Arabian tradition and Abu Dhabi’s modern outlook.” In August, Al Jaber Grinaker completed work on two new interim terminals to increase the airport’s annual capacity by three million, in its bid to smooth passenger flow and relieve pressure of high density flights from the existing airport, until the mega Midfield Terminal Complex is complete in 2010. The multi-phase redevelopment will double the existing airport’s land area to 3400 hectares. A second category three runway will be built 2000 metres north of the current runway. Cargo, maintenance facilities, free trade zones, catering and other commercial facilities will be constructed between the two runways. National carrier Etihad Airways will have 50 wide-bodied aircraft by 2010.

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