Dubai International Airport has announced record traffic in the year 2013 with 66.43 million passengers passing through the airport, up 15.2% from the 57.68 million traffic recorded during 2012.
The airport noted that the increase can be attributed to network expansion and monthly passenger numbers which exceeded five million for 12 consecutive months.
With this rapid growth rate, Dubai Airport will overtake London Heathrow Airport as the busiest international airport, which reported traffic of 72.3 million in 2013, up 3.4% from 2012.
While Heathrow Airport is already close to its maximum capacity, Dubai Airport is being expanded to handle 90 million travellers a year.
In 2013, Dubai Airport benefited from the large number of wide-body jets that operate into it, with the number of passengers per aircraft movement increasing 4.5% to 198, compared to 189 recorded in the year 2012.
Aircraft movements totalled 369,953, up 7.5% compared to 344,245 movements recorded during 2012.
A total of 28 new passenger destinations were added, primarily due to the expanding networks of Dubai-based airlines flydubai and Emirates, bringing the total passenger destinations served by Dubai International to 239.
Cargo volumes increased 6.8% to 2.43 million tonnes, compared to 2.27 million tonnes registered in 2012.
Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths said: "It was truly an historic year for Dubai’s aviation sector, highlighted by the successful opening of Concourse A, the world’s largest and only facility purpose built for the Airbus A380; the launch of passenger services at Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central; and a record breaking airshow that featured aircraft orders exceeding $200bn, the bulk of which was placed by Dubai’s flag carriers.
"2014 is set to be another eventful year, one featuring continued traffic growth, network expansion and the ongoing enlargement and upgrade of our facilities and runways."
In December, the airport served 6.04 million passengers, eclipsing the 6 million mark for the first time, and registering a 13.6% increase from the traffic recorded in 2012.
Image: Dubai Airport noted that the increase in passenger traffic can be attributed to network expansion and monthly increase in traffic. Photo: courtesy of Dubai Airports.