Abu Dhabi Airports (ADA) is looking at an iteration of its historical masterplan, a top ADA executive said.

Chief Operations Officer Frank McCrorie told Zawya Projects in an exclusive interview that ADA is also aiming to have a sustainability strategy signed off prior to the COP 28 scheduled to take place from 6-17 November 2023 in the UAE.

He said: “We are looking at the second iteration of our historical masterplan to understand aspects such as terminal expansion and cargo growth. The revision will focus on continuous upgrading, providing a vision for the ultimate development of our airports and securing the appropriate space to accommodate future growth.”

“For instance, one of the aspects of our current focus is widening of the runway and a new terminal for Sir Bani Yas Airport.” 

The assessments go beyond infrastructure investments, McCrorie noted. 

“We are using an external agency to validate our 20-year roadmap and also give direction to the master plan in terms of the facilities.” 

The ADA executive said the strong growth from recent entrants such as Wizz Air and Air Arabia Abu Dhabi, who focus solely on point-to-point traffic, complements the intercontinental transfer traffic that Etihad Airways brings to their Abu Dhabi hub.

Last month, Zawya had reported that ADA will see flights from Turkmenistan.

McCrorie continued: “It is more about how we can attract more traffic, so the [master plan] iteration will also assess potential capacities and when those limits may be exceeded such as long-term passenger numbers”

“We are examining how to provide additional capacity, particularly, through check-in and how to manage its peaks through slots; besides launching a new biometric system.”

“Additionally, ADA is also looking at the navigation services and how the overall landscape is going to change and explore the options to have a centralised system for all our five airports.” 

McCrorie said each of these outcomes will substantially change the historical master plan but didn’t elaborate on the timelines. 

He disclosed that ADA is also looking for overseas opportunities beyond the five UAE airports its owns and operates.

“We are looking for opportunities overseas to extend our technical and operational expertise,” he said without giving further details.

Additionally, ADA is also aiming to have a sustainability strategy agreed prior to COP 28.

“The strategy will look at investment, procurement and business practices. It will also look at how the business interacts with the local communities”

“For example, we are in the process of looking at noise monitoring systems at Al Bateen and Abu Dhabi International Airport. We are also looking at a metering strategy to monitor consumption to recover costs and make long term changes,” McCrorie concluded.

(Reporting by Sona Nambiar; Editing by Anoop Menon)