Abu Dhabi International Airport has erected the first steel arch of the new Midfield Terminal Building (MTB), a move which marks the launch of the roof structure sequence of the mega gateway.

MTB, which will be the largest building in Abu Dhabi, will span between 630,000m² and 702,369m² and is slated to open in 2017.

Featuring a ceiling 52m tall at its highest point, the MTB will be visible from more than 1.5km away and could hold three full-sized football pitches.

In the first year of operation, the building will increase the capacity of the airport to 30 million passengers, ensuring the long-term success of the aviation sector in the Abu Dhabi.

Abu Dhabi Airports chairman HE Ali Majed Al Mansoori said: "Today, once more Abu Dhabi Airports delivers on its promises and demonstrates its unwavering commitment to its mandate of developing the airport infrastructure for the emirate, in support of Abu Dhabi vision 2030."

"Once more Abu Dhabi Airports delivers on its promises and demonstrates its unwavering commitment."

"The Midfield Terminal Building is now rising into the sky, which is a clear testament that it will be the gateway to the capital city by 2017."

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The new arch that has been erected is one of the 18 arches will be a part of the steel primary structure for the MTB roof, and by end of 2014, all the arches will be completed and assembled.

While the first arch spans over 120m and weighs around 200 metric tonnes, the biggest arch will be 180m in length and 300 metric tonnes in weight.

Abu Dhabi Airports CEO Tony Douglas said: "The achievement today, in spite of its architectural complexity, is being delivered 20 days ahead of schedule which again confirms that the MTB will be delivered on time and on budget."

In June 2012, Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) and the joint venture (JV) of TAV, CCC, and Arabtec signed an AED10.8bn ($2.93bn) contract for the construction of the Midfield Terminal Building (MTB) at Abu Dhabi International Airport.

The MTB is a part of the airport’s Midfield Terminal Complex (MTC), which will also feature passenger and cargo facilities, and duty-free shops and restaurants for a total capacity of 27-40 million people a year.

The MTC will be established between the airport’s two runways, to ensure the quickest possible journey from runway to stand and a smoother experience for the terminal’s passengers.

Buildings associated with MTC will take up an additional 800,000m², and will include access to 16-20 aircraft parking stands dedicated to cargo.

Image: The Midfield Terminal at Abu Dhabi International Airport rises above the ground. Photo: courtesy of Abu Dhabi Airports.