Abu Dhabi is all set to reopen its Al Bateen Executive Airport on Saturday, August 6, after concluding a significant upgrade project.
On Wednesday, August 3, Abu Dhabi Airport’s senior official said that the expansion, mainly broadening the runway, will enable the airport to manage larger planes.
Other works that were carried out since the private jet facility shut down for all except for helicopters earlier in May include:
- A powerful new boundary wall
- Runway resurfacing
- Elevated ground lighting
- Enhanced signage and landscaping
A senior vice president of terminal operations at Abu Dhabi Airports, Matar Al Suwaidi, stated that it had been a primary project comprising various elements of the airport.
The enhancements mean a new era for the airport, which was the first modern international facility in Abu Dhabi.
Launched in the late 1960s, Al Bateen to cater for a sudden increase in people coming to Abu Dhabi after the discovery of oil. It substituted the sand airstrip, had a unique concrete-roofed terminal and also gave its name as ‘Airport Road’, which was then renamed as Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Street.
The present main airport was established in 1982 to manage a surge in demand, and in the years since then, Al Bateen has operated as a military base before its enhancement as a dedicated airport for private jets.
It is also preparing to host Abu Dhabi Air Expo, which is scheduled to take place from November 1 to 3. The event is estimated to attract over 18,000 people and host over 300 suppliers and manufacturers.
The project has been timely as the runway will alter from a 4C to a 4D, in airport terminology, meaning that it can manage twin-aisle jets, like Boeing 767s, as compared to earlier when it could only accommodate single-aisle plans like Airbus A320s and Boeing 737s. But the change alone does not provide the certification, and the Emirates’ General Civil Aviation Authority will give its final consent.