Abu Dhabi Airports and Etihad’s cargo division have unveiled a major project designed to transform Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) into “a state-of-the-art global air cargo centre of excellence”.
Abu Dhabi Airports and Etihad Cargo will develop infrastructure, starting with the upgrade of Etihad’s existing air cargo terminal facilities on the southside airport perimeters.
The program will culminate with the inauguration of Etihad Cargo’s future home, a new air cargo terminal in the east midfield section of the airport.
The plans revealed that the first phase, the upgrading of the southside Etihad cargo facilities, will commence immediately and is due for completion in phases between fall 2019 and end of Q3 2020.
The scope includes the enhancement of RFS loading docks with levellers, insulation and floor works for faster and more efficient loading with stricter temperature controls, increased storage space and additional build-up and breakdown zones to improve production workflow, and upgraded cool chain facilities for both its fresh and pharma handling and storage operations.
This phase will enhance Etihad’s pharmaceutical logistics capability through a dedicated southside pharma terminal, adding 3,500 sqm’s of space for temperature-controlled handling and storage across both 2-8 degrees Celsius and 15-25 degrees Celsius categories.
Bryan Thompson, CEO of Abu Dhabi Airports, commented: “Geographically, Abu Dhabi is situated at the heart of the east to west trade routes.
“Additionally, the transport and logistics fabric of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi is well planned and structured to create undeniable potential to grow the cargo traffic exponentially.”
“Today we are putting in place the right foundations and frameworks for our future cargo activity, which in a few years will re-shape this industry for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi is the future’s cargo hub for the region and the world.”
Tony Douglas, group CEO, Etihad Aviation Group, said: “Today’s announcement is a major milestone in the development of Etihad Cargo’s logistics strategy that will see our hub continue to grow as one of the world’s most important trade facilitators connecting East and West.
“The immediate investment in the Southside terminal will deliver a step change in the efficiency and capability of our existing facilities while the announcement of the development of a new facility reinforces Etihad’s commitment to develop Abu Dhabi as a world class hub for the logistics of the future.”