“The opening will mark a significant milestone for the emirate that has the potential to transform the local aviation ecosystem, strengthen Abu Dhabi’s growing reputation as a destination of choice for travellers,” Abu Dhabi Airports said in a statement.
The Midfield Terminal, which was originally due for completion in 2017, was designed to complement the growth of Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways as it competes with neighbouring global carriers Emirates and Qatar Airways. It was 97.6% completed in 2019, Abu Dhabi Airport‘s CEO Bryan Thompson said at the time.
That was followed by a year of funding disputes between Abu Dhabi Airports and contractors over who should foot the bill towards a testing, two sources told Reuters in 2021.
Covering 742,000 square meters of built-up area, Terminal A is among the largest airport terminals in the world and will significantly increase Abu Dhabi International Airport’s passenger and cargo capacity. Once operational, the new terminal will accommodate up to 45 million passengers per year, be able to process 11,000 travellers per hour and operate 79 aircraft at any given time.
The imposing and memorable architecture of Terminal A has won international design awards and adds an architectural landmark to Abu Dhabi’s cityscape. Blending modern, lightweight aesthetics with functional brilliance, the building’s glass exterior maximises natural light while creating a monumental civic space inside the terminal.