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Emirates begins construction for new freighter base

Construction has begun on Emirates SkyCargo’s new cargo terminal and facilities at Dubai World Central Al Maktoum International Airport, which is set to become the home of its freighter operations in May 2014.

Freighter operations are moving to Al Maktoum Airport from Dubai International Airport.

In addition to the cargo terminal, various facilities will be built, including 46 truck docks, 80 truck parking spaces and 12 aircraft stands directly in front of the terminal.

Amana Steel Buildings Contracting, a construction company, was awarded the contract and recently started with the foundation work for the cargo terminal. The first phase will be completed in December.

Following the completion of the first phase, the cargo handling system and the interior will be fitted, with the first section to be delivered to Emirates SkyCargo by the beginning of April 2014 and full completion by mid-September.

Emirates SkyCargo operates a freighter fleet of 10 aircraft, eight Boeing 777Fs and two Boeing 747-400ERFs, that will all move to the airport. Dedicated road feeder services between the two airports for connecting cargo will be introduced.

"The planned move of our freighter operations from Dubai International Airport to Dubai World Central Al Maktoum International Airport is the next step in Emirates SkyCargo's overall expansion and growth program. It provides us with a brand new facility for our freighter operations and will increase capacity and enable us to meet our long-term objectives,” Nabil Sultan, Emirates divisional senior vice president, cargo, said. "While the site is being developed, it remains business as usual for us. We are working very closely with Dubai Airports to ensure a smooth transition of our freighter operations. The move does not include passenger fleet belly cargo operations, which will continue to operate from Dubai International Airport.”

The terminal will have an initial capacity of 700,000 tonnes of cargo per year. It also provides Emirates SkyCargo with the space to have a larger perishables handling area, with a dedicated pharmaceutical storage area, allowing it to expand its cool chain services.

Photo caption: An artist's impression of the new freighter cargo terminal provided by Emirates SkyCargo.