Abu Dhabi Opens New Runway

The first aircraft has taken off from the new $272 million runway at Abu Dhabi International Airport as the facility prepares to expand its capacity to an estimated 20 million passengers by 2012. The inaugural flight was undertaken by an Etihad Airbus A320 carrying media representatives, as the runway began movements.
Work on the new 13,450ft (4,100m) strip, located around a mile (2km) from the existing runway, began in May 2006 and included the development of the airstrip itself, two major taxiways, two cross-field taxiways and two fire stations.
Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) has started operations at its new Terminal 3, which will be predominantly used for Etihad flights. A phased opening of the terminal started in September with departures using gates and lounges for certain services and passengers being bussed from the main terminal. In the next phase, due before the end of the year, passengers will check in at the facility. The final phase is expected to encompass the opening of a full duty-free retail and food and beverage village in the New Year.