Up to $200 billion spent on MENA airports

More than $200 billion has been spent on construction and expansion of airport terminals in the Middle East, Africa, subcontinent, CIS and the Asia-Pacific, in the last two decades.

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By  Barbara Cockburn Published  July 1, 2006

Inderjit Singh, executive director of the Airports Authority of India, said at last month’s Airport Build & Supply Exhibition, held in Dubai, that billions of dollars had been spent worldwide on the development of air terminals in the last 20 years but that more focus should go towards the passenger. He said: “An architect’s dream can be a nightmare for passengers, which means they can be mistreated. The need of the day is not grandiose statement of architectural styles vying with one another for awards, but safe and secure terminal buildings that are functional and flexible, convenient and comfortable, spacious and aesthetically pleasant.” Singh added that the industry needed to improve its standards towards the customer and slated the term ‘pax’ used to define a passenger. He said: “An air traveler, the customer, is referred to this horrible word, in airline and airport parlance. Actually the passenger is the sole reason for our existence.” Singh said an air traveller is not a unit to be regarded as being of a basic standard, usually miniscule in size, somewhat lacking in both intelligence and general ability to find his way about. He said: “As soon as everybody, high and low, in world air transport recognises this fact, the sooner the system will improve. This is the age of the customer, who should be priority number one.” The news follows the Dubai Department of Civil Aviation’s announcement that Dubai’s AED 45 billion airport projects, expansion of Dubai International Airport and construction of the first phase of Dubai World Central International Airport, are on schedule for commissioning between 2007 and 2008.

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